You know .... I make a lot of mistakes.
A. Lot. Of. Mistakes.
I fail. Far more than I would like. Ok .... I fail a lot.
I cry. I cry some more. And some how, I try to pick myself back up and do it again. Sometimes, with success. Sometimes, I am too frighten to try. And often when I try again, I am rewarded with more failure.
My moments of failure are often pointed out. Usually with a big wide red sharpie marker for all the classroom to see.
Oh, Look! She failed again.
And its those big wide red sharpie markers moments that haunt my spirit.
Those big wide red sharpie marker moments are there because I no longer live my life in the shadows. I could park myself on the farm .... and no one would know that I am here. I could be "under the radar". But I don't. I voice my opinion. I tell my story. I try my best. But my mistakes are out there for the world to see.
Those big wide red sharpie marker moments eat on me. I have suffered from clinical depression for decades. And those red sharpie marker moments, take me inside all my doubts and fears. I want to sleep the pain away. I hyperventilate. I want to hide. But I'm not going to.
Not. Any. More.
Yesterday ... I caught an interview with Brene' Brown.
And she quoted Teddy Roosevelt. This is from a 1910 speech that was given in France. This is called The Man in the Arena quote.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who
points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds
could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is
actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and
blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and
again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but
who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms,
the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at
the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who
at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so
that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who
neither know victory nor defeat.
Yea. It's now pasted to my computer screen.
A neighbor once told me .... I don't take on more than I know I can do well. And at that very moment, I thought, "How do you know what you are capable of doing?"
I wonder ... when did perfection become the norm? Why don't we
acknowledge our efforts and our failures? The garden that didn't get
weeded. The apples that won't make it into jam. The second sock that
is still tightly wound in a ball of yarn. Why does the pursuit have to be about perfection?
I will still be a loser.
But I will still be in the arena trying.
Dirty. Sweaty. Stinking.
Still failing for the all world to see.