I often find that my best teacher is a very hard lesson. I can’t say that I’m someone overly keen to advice or suggestions- I prefer to do things how and when I want to do them, and I learn myself if they are a big old fail or not.
I’m well aware that there is an adage out there about how you can’t make every mistake yourself; sometimes you must learn from the mistakes of others. I can dig that. However, just because I appreciate it doesn’t mean it really does me any good- it usually doesn’t. After all, maybe the failures of others won’t necessarily happen to ME. At least, that’s what I tell myself when I have the opportunity to do something stupid.
I digress. The lessons that have stuck with me in my short time on this earth are those hard lessons that I have taught myself by simply doing and failing at spectacularly. DO I remember the time I quit one job without having another lined up? Yup, I’ll never do that again. I had been TOLD that but…I’m young and cute, surely securing another job would be NO big deal. I also remember the time I was told to train for a long distance race. But there are people out there who probably walk five and ten miles a day, surely I can finish up 26.2 without training and lifting five days a week for nearly five months, right? The answer for all of you wondering…you CAN do this. In fact, I did it a full 1.5 minutes before they shut down the course. But I woke up the next day feeling like I had been hit by a car- I’ve never been hit by a car- but I can’t imagine it being much more painful than that Monday after the Sunday race, walking to classes. There was also that little grain of wisdom I was given about “if you can’t say something nice…” that has cost me more than a few points with parents, siblings, teachers, friends, etc.
There have also been larger mistakes made, which I won’t get into but safe to say I have made my fair share of idiot choices. Most of these decisions have been made in my 20s. I’m one of those weird people who looks forward to 30, hoping that to some extent it will absolve me of the time I spent being a moron over the last 10 years. I’m sure it doesn’t, but it’s nice to think of things that way.
Anyway, I spoke to my mom the other day about the fact that I wasn’t very proud of a lot of the decisions I have made- both for myself and for other people- in the last few years. I feel like many of these have been huge, life-altering mistakes. And you know what, they were…for ME. These mistakes that I have made (some of them I was warned against making but did anyway and others were honest mistakes) have led me to exactly where I am in my life right now. I can’t say I’m pleased with every aspect of it, but I think I’ve done some pretty great things in 27 years. My plan is to keep right on going…making mistakes, learning lessons, and growing into whoever I’m supposed to be. I don’t suspect I will ever fully realize exactly WHAT I was supposed to become, but I hope that if the day arrives that I’ve achieved it, I’m not so distracted by what I’ve done wrong that got me there- I hope I can relish the feeling of accomplishment.