My best memories have been when I've been working really hard at something. Not always being good at it, but working really hard at it. I'm a pretty decent basketball player, but when I started playing in 7th grade I was terrible. I was athletic but I had no coordination and people made fun of me constantly.
My favorite basketball memories aren't from any games, they are from the summer between 7th and 8th grade when I killed myself trying to get better. I played every day. I would wait until it was the hottest and I'd go outside and put up thousands of shots. I remember playing in the rain. I remember playing at night. I played early in the morning. I put in the work and I loved it. Like really loved it. And I remember when I came back to play the next season how no one was making fun of me anymore.
Growing up, I never thought of photography as a serious pursuit. I was always into sports and the performance arts. I used to draw a lot but photography never really crossed my mind. When I was a junior in high school I took a photo class mostly because I thought it would be an easy A and fun time. All of my early work was awful and I really didn't care. But then something changed when I accidentally took a half way decent picture. The teacher gave me a compliment and the praise felt pretty good. I kept at it. Then my mother saw a photo I took and told me that I had a good eye. For some reason I totally believed her. I kept shooting.
The summer between junior and senior year, all I can remember was playing basketball, hanging out with my girlfriend, and taking pictures. I'm sure more stuff happened, I just can't remember. By the time senior year came around I was hooked. I went back in to photo but this time I took it seriously. I spent every free period in the dark room experimenting and practicing. I was there after school and before school. I learned how to start using Photoshop. I ended up going to college to study photography and lots of great relationships and experiences came out of that. But the best part, if I'm being honest were those early days, sneaking into the dark room, learning and practicing. It's the thing I remember most almost 10 years later.
Everything in life is like that. Find something that interests you and suck at it. Be really bad, but keep doing it. Slowly you'll suck a little bit less. Keep going and you might start to get good. Keep going after that for months and years and you have the chance to be great. I wouldn't say I'm "great" at anything yet, but I'm working on it.