About ten years ago I decided that the next step I needed to take in my life was to accept and explore what it meant to be a failure and to have failed. This infuriated almost everybody in my life and clearly terrified a lot of people. People do not want you to accept failure. They dont want you to like… Sit with and think about it and pick it up and turn it arpund in your hands and really examine it. They want you to keep throwing yourself against the impossible walls until your body explodes! They do not want you to say “alright then, I’ve failed. What does that mean for me? Im still here. What does the life of someone who has failed look like?”
and Jude Doyle posted: If You Want to Enjoy Your Job, Try Failing
I had chosen to be a writer because I genuinely loved the act of putting words on paper. Even when it was hard, I would rather have a hard time writing than an easy time doing anything else. I had acquired competence, and I had acquired professionalism, but in the process, I had drained the joy from my work. If I ever wanted to write something I was proud of, I had to start from the beginning. I had to fail.
I've started and not finished half a dozen posts on different thoughts in the last week. P's mom passed away last weekend and they flew out for the funeral. Bug is very attached to her mom and is also having a hard time with the "grandmother dying" thing, and on top of the fact that I can't drive, single parenting is hard and I respect the crap out of people who can do this for more than three days at a time.
Being reminded that failure is something that can be sat with and embraced is a good thing. Dan Savage liked to say that every relationship fails until one doesn't, and it's good to remember that's true of other things too. I'm letting Bug sleep with me in the big bed while P is gone, and maybe it's a regression and maybe it's just choosing my battles. It's okay to decide something isn't important right now.
Sometimes things just come up that are more important, and that's okay. Sometimes we fail, and that's okay too. Life's probably more defined by our failures than by our successes in a lot of ways, or at least equally between the two. I've succeeded at some things I'm really proud of, but I've failed at a lot of things too.
Actually that reminds me that that was one of the things Everything Everywhere All At Once talked about too: "Every rejection, every disappointment has led you to this moment. Don't let anything distract you from it."