Here’s what I’ve decided…my list of failures isn’t nearly long enough. Not because I’m greater than Cheese Whiz, but mostly because I haven’t been brave. We polish ourselves to a high glossy sheen on social media, but I love it when people are fearless enough to admit their face plants, their failures, their stumbles. Buckle up, here’s a few of mine.
- I can’t do a cart wheel. As a 7 year old, this was a big deal for me. My parents threw me a bone eventually and said I could do “a monkey-wheel”. Guess what, darlin’? You can’t do a cart wheel if you’re too scared to throw your legs all the way up in the air. Scaredy-cat.
- I was in figure skating for many, many years and pretty much sucked at it. I could spin like a devil, but was too afraid to jump more than three inches off the ground. I dutifully dressed up in outfits bedazzled and sequined up the ying-yang to try and pull off routines that never involved jumping. Ever.
- I didn’t go to my first college choice. I was accepted, but too scared.
- I talked my college roommates into joining ballet with me for the first time when we were 19. All the little dancers lined up to watch us at class, because they thought we were the real deal. We weren’t. They let us know. Loudly.
- I went to the Grand Canyon and didn’t hike it. Not once, but three times.
- I built a house that was stupid expensive and nearly resulted in divorce. This failure stings every month.
- I have applied for a handful of jobs that I didn’t get. Yes, I’ve kept track. What an obnoxious narcissist…
- I have taken up cake decorating, yoga, photography, running, French, and EMT classes with short lived runs of enthusiasm. This has lead to years of teasing from my friends with miscellaneous detritus of cake decorating supplies, dark room materials, airway tubes and epi-pens lying around my house.
- I started this blog, which will likely never be very successful because I don’t promote it much. Also, because it’s sloppy, written off the cuff, and (oooooh harsh) mainly centered around my pedestrian life.
- I took sailing lessons this week and was the worst in my class. It turns out that I am good crew material. Captain? Not so much. Why? Because I want the boat to go in the direction I want, whether the wind is blowing that way or not. “Tack, tack, tack. This isn’t a motorboat!”. Probably a good metaphor for life. Change your sails a bit you bloody, stubborn fool.
Hands down though, my biggest regret is that this list isn’t longer. I could toss a few more in here, but you get the idea. I wish my failures were bigger, because that means I wasn’t too scared to try. I wish that I had reached a bit higher, even if that meant landing harder: in cartwheels, in skating, at work, at play.
Personally, sometimes I’m a real jackwagon, too, but I consider my behavior to be a daily work in progress. I don’t wake up wanting to be a jackwagon, I don’t think anyone does. Some days we just derail a lot faster than others, but we try, right?
So, here’s to embracing our failures, our missteps. Let’s try to not be too glossy, and reveal our warts a bit. What’s your biggest failure? Let’s reframe that, what has been your greatest attempt? I’ll keep adding to mine and let you know. I really hope skydiving works out though, because some things have more of a margin for error than others.
Keep sharing moxie!