Citizens of humanity...
Failure smells like cardboard to me. Stacked in my garage. Or my odd-sock drawer that won’t allow the hall closet to close anymore. (I don’t want to talk about it).
I will never let my first screenplay I wrote see the light of day. It’s terrible. Like really, really bad. However, the one I just finished is actually pretty delightful. I genuinely like it.
But we don’t talk about our failures much, do we?
And I think I get it.
People are into the amazing, the impossible, the Avengers, and the dance breaks in the middle of the mall.
We stand in awe without realizing it took 70 hours of practice to master that dance break and a disturbing amount of physical conditioning to make us believe that an actor can actually lift a boat out of water to save the planet.
We don’t talk about the failures until we have the success.
No one discusses the night that Thomas Edison cried himself to sleep doubting his entire life’s work after his 7,892 try to make the lightbulb. I picture at least one gut-wrenching sob session. We just talk about the complete elation that changed our world after attempt 10,000 was a success.
No one discusses how much "Top Ramen" Bill Gates consumed while he wrote his 12,000th line of code into the night air. I like to think it was a lot of noodles.
Maybe we don’t discuss this because there isn’t much to say. Another day, another try.
But the truth is that our successes define us but our failures make us.
So feel free to own it all as this year end’s. To be angry, to cry, and to evaluate. Just don’t forget to pick yourself back up after and try again. The world can’t write your story without you. Keep fighting the good fight.
So here’s to sitting with our failures, as uncomfortable as they may be. Cheers to giving yourself permission to suck for as long as it takes to get good at something.
Showing up and trying again and again and again is courageous.
And I love living in places that make me feel brave.