I’ve made a lot of promises to myself recently. I cut up my credit card, kicked my nightly ice cream habit down to only
once twice seven times a week (But can you really blame me? I mean, IT’S ICE CREAM, PEOPLE!) am trying to become a more active member of my church, and am thinking about adding a new addition to the Wendi Hansen household in the form of a furry, four-legged and oh so cute friend (isn’t he the sweetest of all meatballs?! He’s still on medical hold now from the rescue center but I am hoping I can take him home this weekend!!)
Not to mention the fact that I’ve been committed to finding my dream job since foreverrrrr and let’s face the nitty gritty facts: the road to the library hasn’t been the smoothest. In fact, it’s been all of the rocky. It’s been the Lombard Street of journeys. Perhaps I’ve bitten off more than I can chew (which is saying a lot because I once stuffed a whole slice of pizza in my pie hole. A WHOLE PIECE.)
But lately I’ve been learning that failure is both a) necessary and b) inevitable. If you’re trying to change, to grow, to learn— you will fail. Because if you’re not failing, then you’re probably doing something wrong. Growth is a messy business, it doesn’t happen without its fair share of bumps and bruises.
The other thing I’ve been learning about failure is it’s not the end of your journey, it’s simply the down beat to your melody, a necessary evil to bettering yourself. I found out last week that the Adult Librarian position that I had applied for, interviewed for (twice) and was really pretty darn sure I would get, was offered to someone else. I’m not going to lie; I was a little sad and a lot disappointed. It seems that every time I get so close to this dream of mine, so close I could smell it’s Old Spice aftershave, it slips from my grasp. It’s hard not to get down on yourself, wonder what it is that you’re doing wrong, to lose hope and think of yourself as the “F” word…a failure. It’s hard not to want to just stop trying, to give up, burry yourself in a giant tub of Chunky Monkey and call it a day (which I may or may not have done right after I found out. But can you really blame me? I mean, IT’S ICE CREAM, PEOPLE).
So how do you deal with failure, with the desire to quit you biggest goals? The answer may seem a bit counter intuitive, but here it goes: quit a little every day.
In my own experience the key to long-term change has always been showing myself a little grace. Try as you may, there will be days that are harder than others, days where you’ll want to quit or give up on yourself. And on those days its OK to give yourself a mental break, quit… just a little, and then get right back down to kicking ass.
Recently I stumbled upon a great quote by J.K. Rowling: “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” In this case failure is not only a consequence of success, but a necessity for its acquisition. So yes, if you don’t try, then you won’t fail. But if you never fail, then you’ll never learn anything either. So fail hard, fail fast, and commit to something worth doing. In the end you’ll be glad you did.
So yes, my friends.
Failure, in some cases, is very much an option.