Recently I’ve found myself grasping for inspiration. It’s not that I’m blocked exactly, in fact it’s almost the opposite. The horizon is so clear that I can see for miles, I’m just not sure what I’m suppose to be looking for. Sometimes, the best writing comes from the worst situations, but lately life has been just pleasantly passing me by. I’ve been plagued with a sort of ennui that weighs on my mind and slows my reactions. Weeks passed before I even realized I was sinking into the vague sort of depression that only sneaks up on you when things get too easy.
Disgusted with myself, I decided to open the computer and vowed to stare at the screen until something developed. Wordpress offered up ‘pursue’ as the daily prompt and it served as a reminder that my life seemed to have stalled and seemed as good a goal as any to get myself moving. I knew right away what I wanted to write about, but every word was a struggle. I wrestled my points onto the page with more determination than skill really. More than once I contemplated giving up, but a sense of responsibility kept me focused and eventually my tenacity paid off. I had constructed something that wasn’t exactly a work of art, but felt strong, and sturdy and safe enough to attach my name to and sail out into the world. As I prepared to press publish I was less proud of what I wrote, than that I wrote it. I reminded myself that sometimes it’s not the product but the process. It wasn’t pretty, but it got me across the finish line, and that felt like enough.
Unfortunately something went wrong. A technical glitch in the system and a goal that I had spent the better part of the day clumsily pursuing, disappeared without a trace. The entire post lost in the blink of an eye.
Obviously I went through a full range of emotions…shock, denial, anger…the pattern was so predictable that I might have laughed if I wasn’t so distracted, desperately trying to hold onto something that was no longer there.
Logically I knew that acceptance was the only place left to go, but as difficult as pursuing a goal can be, apparently letting go of one is equally hard.
As children, unless you are lucky enough to find yourself naturally gifted in everything, you are taught that hard work and perseverance can overcome any deficits in your character. If you’re a sub par baseball player, you practice until you make the team. If you struggle with math, you get a tutor to pass the course. If at first you don’t succeed, you try, try again. We are taught that the most powerful people do not dream about success, they work for it. That every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing and I truly believe that if you set your mind to it, and work hard enough, you can achieve anything you want. What a powerful and liberating thought.
So how then does a blog about failure fit into that equation. Am I really changing the definition of ‘failing’ if my overall message is to pick yourself up and try again, over and over, until you eventually succeed? WTF! Apart from a more obvious acronym, this also stands for Willing To Fail. It’s a glorious middle finger to the perfection of society and the common convention that we are suppose to leave life to the experts. This blog was suppose to encourage that. It was an open invitation for anybody to jump in and start splashing around, and a promise that I would be there, standing on the side lines, cheering you on towards the finish line.
But how does that help anyone stuck in an unhealthy relationship? What kind of comfort is that to people drowning in situations that don’t appreciate them. Even a blog devoted to failure, failed to recognize that in an attempt to be different it somehow managed to stay the same. Be it careers, or commitments (or missing blog posts) there is such an intrinsic compulsion to conquer, that it’s easy to overlook that there is always another option. At any time we can decide to just step out of the race.
So today’s message is a reminder that you win some and you lose some (quite literally when it comes to blog posts). A warning to not get so distracted with perfecting your stroke, that you forget to pay attention to where you’re going. A disclaimer that life is a deck of cards that’s constantly being shuffled and even the safest bet offers no guarantees. Sometimes you need to put your nose to the grindstone and work it out, and sometimes the best you can do is throw your hands into the air and give it up. Who knows how you’re suppose to decide which one is right…certainly not a Cractpot from Canada. So if you stopped by looking for encouragement I’ll go get my pom poms, but if you’re looking for someone to hold your hand while you light the match and watch it all burn, just give me a second to grab the marshmallows. I have zero plans and nothing but time so let me know what you need…because we’re all in this together…and I’m always looking for suggestions…
Be still like a mountain and flow like a great river~Lao Tzu