Mistakes. I make them. You make them. There isn’t a single person that doesn’t make a mistake or two in their life. So why do we punish ourselves for the smallest bit of imperfection? Quitting new things altogether if we can’t catch on quick enough, or when we mess up the way people do when they try something new for the first time: always. There are exceptions to what we fuck up, but it is a rule that we will inevitably embarrass ourselves by botching something. Still, this is how we learn. Through error.
Do you remember being a child learning how to walk? Probably not, but maybe you’ve seen one try. Placing one stubby leg in front of the other, consistently and awkwardly until it falls flat on its ass. Right then and there most of us would give up. I mean obviously, it is stupid in this context. Maybe you’re thinking that you need to walk so, of course, you wouldn’t give up. But hasn’t there been so many other things that you have needed that you just decided to give up on? Maybe it was a person or a job. No, it’s never that. Those are just the means. It was yourself that you gave up on. You and your own happiness.
Don’t try to rationalize it now because you’ve already done that. You have already convinced yourself that happiness isn’t necessarily something you need, or at least it’s not worth fighting for if it isn’t easy. It might sound like I’m preaching, but honestly, these words are for myself. I get so stuck on how something is supposed to happen that I often forget to be grateful for the fact that it has happened at all. The walking? I’ve rationalized that there are people who can’t walk and they seem perfectly fine so maybe I just wasn’t meant to walk. Maybe this goal just wasn’t meant for me to reach.
I do believe there are some goals that we just aren’t meant to grasp because they give us purpose, let me be clear on that. But all of them? Each and every one unobtainable? Preposterous. So what if I can’t play the song without messing up every other note. So what if I don’t get first place in some competition. So what if I fall flat on my ass after trying to walk. If it wasn’t supposed to happen, I wouldn’t be filled with this immense desire to achieve this one goal.
Maybe things don’t always work out. But how would I know that if I wasn’t willing to fall flat on my ass? How many failures away am I from success? How many time have I ever actually failed? It’s all a learning experience anyway. Each time I fell I understood what not to do for the next time. I think as a society we’ve become so interested in the end result that we’ve forgotten just how important the journey is. It’s why I fell in love with learning in the first place. It wasn’t necessarily about the end result, although that was nice. It was about all the things I would discover on my way to some destination. I just have to be willing to get lost. I just have to be willing to fall.