I caught a bit of insomnia tonight and figured that it was time to write. Sometimes I take this time to write in my journal but I thought maybe now would be a good time to tackle a question a writing Professor once asked her class. The question that she gave us was: How willing are you to fail?
Honestly, at the time, failure was to my mind the worst thing in the world. To fail, to me, was to die. Failure was being left behind while the world went on without you, failure was making mistakes period, it was being a mistake by creating mistakes.
Since graduation, that question kept popping up into my mind.
I’ve realized, that my thinking regarding failure is, itself, flawed. I’ve come to this realization only through living outside of the classroom. There is no such thing as an overall grading system that has been standardized by society in which a person can fail. There are just ways of dealing with failure that are beneficial and ways that are detrimental to a person or persons’ well-being.
At least that is my current understanding.
The two videos I’ve attached are helpful in understanding this. “Mary & Max” for instance demonstrates how two individuals cope with the imperfections of their world and themselves. The young girl Mary is very much like how I was in school. I still, in many ways, believe that everything has a solution. My change in thought though is similar to how to changed throughout the story. A lot of things have solutions, yet sometimes you do not have to solve them.
Words, for example, enter the English language all the time and often, their meaning is lost in translation.
Does that mean English speakers in America should stop using these words? No! Of course not. That would take a color out of the rainbow (or colour, if you are reading this where British English is predominantly spoken).
The idea that failure in and of itself is not the end all be all bad, is still new to many people. No one likes being wrong. Which brings me to this video:
(BTW, science is more like magic pixie dust then writing! Watch the video for reference. Also, ALL WRITERS SHOULD BE RESEARCH STORY-TELLERS, mumble mumble).
I tried to beat back failure and my own self-esteem issues with my grades, my perfect attendance, and my “good-girl” persona. I struggle with a strong since of love and belonging because, unless I worked hard, I did not believe I was worthy of love and belonging. I had to be perfect. I’ve learned that 1) I am painfully not perfect outside of academia and 2) I need to find a way to believe in my own worthiness.
Now, let’s go back to the question my Prof. asked:
How willing are you to fail?
Do you have the courage to be imperfect?
As I continue down the road of adulthood, I hope to be more courageous in my imperfection. I hope to become more willing to fail and thereby be more willing to succeed and get out of my own way.
Speaking of which… given that it is almost 2 in the morning, I should hit the hay.
Peace, love, and pancakes.
Until next time, be good to each other.