Why We’re Incapable Of Making Mistakes

Of late, it seems that many of my friends have become bogged down by the fear of making mistakes. Perhaps it is because we are coming to the end of another year. This always seems to give us reflection, doesn’t it? What did I do this year? What did I not do this year? How can I improve next year?

Frankly, I love dispensing advice. It’s probably a good thing I’m not a mother, because I can just see how that would play out. It’s far better to share my thoughts with those who will actually appreciate it.

Here’s my honest belief – we don’t make mistakes.

Allow me to get freaky for a second as I delve a bit deeper.

I think that every person comes into this world with a list of lessons that they are to learn. Every incident that they encounter, every “mistake” or “misstep” pushes them toward a deeper self-awareness.

I also believe that because we have these lessons to learn, the “end” of our lives comes once we’ve learned those lessons. So we can float along in life taking it as it comes, or we can have a crazy, wonderful time – but at the end of it, we’ll somehow have learned the same things, made peace with the same conclusions. We’ll have the same wishes and regrets, the same joys and sorrows. You’ll wonder about the life you didn’t live – but don’t lose faith, my friends, for it was not the life meant for your journey this time around.

People ask me how this can be. After all, children leave this earth often, don’t they? Babies, even. People are raped, murdered, live in horrible poverty, lose both parents at too young an age, there’s cancer and AIDS and hepatitis and mental illness and a slew of other things that can go wrong. People are shot or killed in car accidents or freak accidents and it seems as if they leave us so suddenly. How did they earn such fates, such…lessons, as I call them?

I don’t know. I’m not saying my view is right. For some people it’s probably naïve – stupid, even.

That’s okay.

I just know that since I’ve adopted this viewpoint, I’ve flung myself into life whereas before, I was pretty damn cautious. I find that I’m living, not in fear of screwing up but in the joy of learning and pushing boundaries. It’s almost like I gave myself permission to stop being such a priss.

And it’s wonderful.

Do you have a view on life that others might find weird? Share it in the comments below.

Online Dating (And How I Became Awesome)

I tried that whole online dating thing once upon a time. In real life, it was about 4 years ago.

I’ll never do it again.

But it’s probably not for the reasons you’re thinking. Sure, I discovered my fair share of assholes. I found the men who were just lonely or needed someone to fill a void. The men who were tired of the bar scene. Granted, I also found some people I had chemistry with.

The whole rainbow of online dating personalities, really.

I was fairly lonely myself at the time, so I’m not passing judgement.

I recall a particular time, in the throes of it all, when I was looking for someone who set the world on fire – someone to rub off on my rather vanilla lifestyle of get up, go to work, come home, go to bed routine. After all, I was boring – the only thing that made me interesting were my aspirations. Then again, we all have them – how many of us do nothing with them? I wasn’t.

I decided that this man who set the world on fire – my ideal match – the one that would be the caramel syrup to my vanilla ice cream – did not live within my zip code. Granted, men in other states would never be a dating opportunity, but what did it hurt to see what existed outside my fishbowl?

Plus, I was sick of reading the same profiles month after month. That’s the other thing about dating sites. It’s always the same pool of people in your area. Anyone new that joins is immediately inundated with flirtatious requests and not even worth the ask for about a month.

I found what I was looking for about 600 miles away. Yes, that’s right.

And let me tell you – he was perfection in a profile. A world traveler, a runner, a dog owner and, of course, he was gorgeous.

I totally dug that online persona. But something else struck me – it was just that: a persona. We can be whatever we want to be online. We can be beautiful or popular or funny or wise. But what are we really?

Was HE really?

Probably not.

That’s about the time I realized that I didn’t want to be an online datable persona.

I don’t want to be judged by a photograph. I don’t want to be picked because my hobbies match someone else’s. I want to be awesome. And I want to be someone’s partner not because my online self was up to snuff, but because I was doing awesome things and because I was an awesome person in real life.

If I wasn’t setting the world on fire, I would at least fan a few embers.

This isn’t to say that people don’t find perfectly fulfilling relationships online. I’m aware of a several online relationships that have blossomed.

But it’s not for me.

The funny thing is, that I still consider myself rather vanilla. However, the life that I have built for myself these last four years is anything but. I’ve written four books in one year. Three of them have been published. I’ve built a business from nothing. I’ve adopted not one, but two crazy dogs. I’ve traveled. I AM.

It’s nothing extraordinary, but it’s something – it’s fulfilling dreams instead of just dreaming them.

And I got all that from dating online.

Who’d have guessed?