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.

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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?

Lining Up Stars

Do you ever feel like the universe is just lining up your stars?

I’ve always thought that there is something bigger at work. I’ve never believed that Earth is the only life-sustaining planet. I’ve always believed in coincidences. There just seem to be too many of them in my life.

A few months ago, I decided to begin journaling again. Frankly, it goes better some weeks than others. I write so often in other ways that sometimes, when sitting in front of a journal, my mind is blank. I try to accept this as part of my offering to the world – that there are days I have nothing to offer my journal thought-wise. If I’m at a total loss, I do always try to write down what I’m grateful for. I often forget to write things down because I’m grateful for so many of them.

I think that when you’re grateful for things, more things that you can be grateful for start to come along. Here’s the thing: I try to always be grateful, even for the bad stuff. I get into a fender-bender: I’m grateful it wasn’t worse. I get stopped at every single red light: I’m grateful for more time listening to my favorite band. I injure myself when running, I’m grateful that I have the ability to run again after I’ve healed.

When I was younger, it was harder. There were days I didn’t have enough money to buy more for groceries than three packs of Ramen for a dollar which had to last me a week. I was grateful that I at least had enough to cover rent and gas to my low wage job.

When I do this, I feel as though the universe is more inclined to line up better opportunities for me. Crazy?

What do you believe?

What will you do to change the world?

It’s easy to shrug something off as impossible. We do it all the time – with jobs, with goals, with dreams. Frankly, it’s a wonder humans get anything accomplished at all what with all the time we spend talking ourselves down from impossibility.

Between you and me, I believe that inside each of us lies the power to change the world.

Bold? Perhaps.

If you’ll stick with me, I’d like to share a story.

It’s not a story of great impact, but it covers a basic struggle: how do I approach my goal as myself?

I have always wanted to be a published author. I had no idea how to write a book, but plenty of other people did. When the idea first hit me, I devoured page upon page of “how to” novels. I’m not joking – hundreds. There are probably thousands left. And with all of that advice, all of that education – I just wasn’t getting it. It was like Algebra all over again.

What I really could have used was a guidebook entitled: Allison Janda’s guide to writing her first novel.

The truth? There are no guidebooks to life. You don’t discover a nice, neat black and white path with your name marked all over it. And while you can prepare yourself with advice from others (I can’t begin to tell you how many Elizabeth Gilbert/Janet Evanovich/John Grisham interviews I read) in the end, it’s just you, my friend. You work an 8 to 5? Wake up at 4:30. You don’t have a strong voice? Take a class. You have too many social engagements? Cancel a few. Excuses are just detours – and you could detour forever. I wrote and published 3 books in 9 months – I ran out of excuses. I created my own guidebook as I went along.

That’s what so many of us miss. We’re constantly hunting for the “right” path or the “easy” way. Others have accomplished the dreams we wish to attain – but how? In the end – they just did it. They slogged through all the work and the time and the pain and the financial struggle and the dip in social life. You can too, you know. You have that power within you.

When we change whether by doing or not doing, we ourselves become different – it’s impossible not to. Those changes affect not only us, but also those around us and so on and so forth. A ripple. And maybe it’s a change that sees history books. But it doesn’t need to, to prove impactful.

What will you do to change the world?

PS: Here’s how Shane started changing the world – and inspired me to write this blog.

It’s Not Always Easy

This morning, I was having a great day. I was loving that I was an entrepreneur. I even took the morning off to go to the zoo (which actually inspired my newfound joy) and see some gorillas. I love gorillas. One day, I will meet one in person. It’s a bucket list item.

Fast forward to 5:38pm when I got a phone call. My biggest client will no longer be in business – and I am out of not only an excellent client, but also a reliable paycheck. Suddenly, being an entrepreneur is terrifying and rather sucky. I’m looking at my bills and thinking- how am I going to make this work? I absolutely can not make this work. I’m going to be broke. I’m going to be poor. After all my hard work, I’m probably going to be evicted and then – *slap.*

Deep breath.

There’s an answer. But the answer is…I have no freaking idea. However, I’m also not one to totally lose it in the face of a crisis. Bring it on world. Also, despite you pooping on me today, I really appreciate that gorgeous sunset you let me admire from the parking lot as I munched chicken fingers and blasted this.

Oh, hey wait…the world pooped on me YESTERDAY. It’s 12:59 AM…what does Thursday have in store? Good surprises I hope.

Reviews Are IN!

WOW! Third review for book 2 – no idea who it is that left this, but they made me cry. Happy tears. See below for the whole enchilada!

I am honored, every single day, that I’m doing this. That I’m writing books. I’m further honored by my readers – thank you, thank you for purchasing, reading, loving/hating, and reviewing!
XOXO

“In this second Marian Moyer mystery, our girl gets a call from her family to come home immediately as her niece has been kidnapped! So Marian, BFF Addison, & Marian’s 2 hunky P.I.s Mika & James take off to her hometown to help. Once there The crew, with the help of Marian’s cop friend Janet, try to find Marian’s niece before the trail goes cold. The plot twists & turns while Marian follows from one clue to another. At one point the tension is palpable!

Great read! Can’t wait for book #3 – Scandal, Temptation, & a Taste of Flan. Definitely recommend you read Book #1 – Sex, Murder, & Killer Cupcakes to see how Marian meets her hunks. Both books worth the time & money, I promise!”

You can purchase all books in the Marian Moyer series through my website – http://www.allisonjanda.com

Happy Reading!

I Can

There are days when the world makes absolutely no sense. Where you have tried and failed so many times at your dream that you are at serious risk of giving up. I don’t know how you all react to such depression and pressures. My old reaction was to curl up and cry for a few days- “no, world! I can’t handle you anymore, just leave me alone. Go bother someone whose dreams you haven’t stepped on!” Once all the tears were out, I’d usually mill around like a zombie for a few days, deep in a fog of mixed emotion- angry, sad, depressed, exhausted, alone, the only person to ever have issues…that kind of thing. What do I do these days when defeat keeps kicking me down? I sign up for another marathon.
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