Failure & Second Winds

Friday, June 10, 2016

I can't exactly pinpoint the first time I failed a test, which thinking about it now, might not the best thing. It's not like I had a Shawn Hunter track record, (no offence, Shawn. Love ya) but I was never Rory Gilmore either. (but oh, did I want to be) I don't remember what grade I was in or what subject my first failure was in; I do however, remember perfectly the feelings that followed. 
Desperation. Disappointment. Fear. Is this what dying feels like?

Okay, so I've always been one for the dramatics. It really wasn't as bad as I made it out to be, but in that particular moment my tiny little world was ending. As the years have passed I've noticed a concerning pattern amongst myself & my peers; (somehow I never thought I'd say that word in a casual sentence) failure is one of the biggest reasons we continue to beat ourselves up.

What determines failure, anyway? How does one define it? The first definition in the Cambridge dictionary is "a lack of success in doing something." Which then begs the question: What does it mean to be successful? The truth is, both success & failure look different on everyone, mean something different to everyone. I've mentioned some how my life sometimes hasn't quite gone according to plan (life rarely does) & there have been many a time I've sat at my coffee-ring scattered desk, hair askew and eyes wild, suddenly panicking, "What am I doing?? I've failed. I'm failing."

But, my babes, in the midst of it all I can't help but wonder, maybe it's only failure when you stop trying. I'm sure a version of that line has been printed and sold in many a craft store and re-pinned 50,000 times, but maybe it's the answer. Maybe it's that second wind that catches you by surprise and reminds you of your own definition of success, that Elle Woods-getting-into-Harvard-and-proving-Warner-wrong move. 

Contrary to popular belief, failure is not the end of your world. In fact, quite often it's only the beginning, just a different version then what you had in mind. And we have to believe that that's okay.

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