Embracing My Failures

I’ve spent the morning watching Ted Talks.  For those of you who don’t know–it is an amazing website with people who give inspirational and innovative talks about their research or ideas (worth spreading).

My favorite is this lady named Brene Brown.  She has two videos posted: one about vulnerability (video), and another about shame (video).  I don’t think I have ever had a time in my life where I have been more vulnerable or shamed.   The events of the past eight months or so have been hard–and even harder to admit to others.  Because in admiting that I have failed, I am admiting that I am putting myself in a vulnerable position.  Thanks to Brene Brown, I no longer feel shamed by that.

Today, I am embracing those events.

In Mom’s Love and Logic classes, she tells parents how they have to let their children fail.  Because the “road to wisdom is paved in failures…” Brene Brown says in her first video, that as parents–our (your) job isn’t to create a perfect human being who “makes it to Yale by seventh grade.” She said in that moment of holding a precious baby, we should say, “You are imperfect, and you are wired for struggle–but you are worthy of love and belonging.”   It’s one in the same, right?

I have failed.  That is for sure, but I’ve always wanted to be the best.  The struggles that I face now internally, are because I don’t want to be a failure.  But what makes us a success?  College?  Relationships?  Good jobs?  I’ve had my moments of failure in all of those things.

I quit my job.  Best decision I ever made.  And goodness, did I feel like a failure!  Even now, when I hear of my peers or friends who have jobs that sound great–I feel a twinge of regret.  I am okay with that too, by the way.  Because according to another Ted Talker, that means I am not a sociopath.

My relationships don’t always work out.   I’m learning to embrace that vulnerabilty of being in another relationship.  It’s okay if they haven’t worked yet–I deserve love and belonging.

My ten year high school reunion is this year, and I have no desire to go.  My reasons for not wanting to attend aren’t because of my failures, however.  I realize that many of my peers are married, have children, master degrees, and so on.  My choices haven’t led me down that path.  That doesn’t make me a failure, but we have a hard time with people who take a different course in life.  We like that sense of belonging that we get when our lives fit a mold.

I don’t fit any molds.

Brene Brown says, “If we are going to find our way back to each other, we need empathy.  If you put shame in a Petri dish, it needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence, and judgement.  If you douse it with empathy it can’t survive.   If we are going to find our way back to each other, vulnerability is going to be that path.”

Writing this blog has helped me grow this year.  Sharing it was a little harder, as that made me vulnerable.  For the first time (probably in my life), I have put my failures out there for others to see.  No more secrecy and silence.  I know that the responses to what I write about will either be with judgement or empathy.  I’m grateful for the empathy.  It has helped me to not be ashamed of my very imperfect life.

13 responses

  1. How refreshing it is to read the thoughts of an honest, open, precious human being. I am 67 yrs old and have many regrets, but the highlight of my life was the risky trip I made–ALONE–to Angangueo,Michoacan to see the wintering home of the monarch butterflies. No one would go with me. Everyone said it was too dangerous and was sent off with a list of “don’ts.” My trip went without a hitch. I managed the airport, buses, and taxis just fine. I adjusted to the times and days I could have hot water and paying for toilet tissue in public restrooms. I am not bilingual, but managed with my high school and college Spanish, dictionaries and phrase books. I fell in love with the Mexican people. They were so accepting, generous, patient, helpful and I cried when I left after only being there 6 days.

    You have had an enriching adventure few Americans will ever have and at a wonderfully young age. What you’ve learned and your experiences will live with you forever. You will never regret this stage of your life. Those other people at the reunion would envy you because you had adventures before you were tied down with family. Tenth reunions suck and I don’t blame you for not going. I went to my 25th and it was fun. I will go to my 50th next year.

    I am familiar with TED and they have great messages. You hold your head up, sweet girl, and be proud that you didn’t just talk the talk, you walked the walk and learned so much. I have faith that if you follow your heart, the rest of your life will be full of wonderful adventures.

    Thank you for sharing your life through this blog.

    • Suzanne,
      Thank you so much for your sweet message–it really means a lot to me! Your trip sounds amazing, and I understand how you fell in love with the Mexican people. They are incredible! I tell people that I must be Mexican; the lifestyle agrees with me too well!

      As for the class reunion…a little more time is never a bad thing! 🙂

      Thank you again,
      Buen dia,
      Jania

  2. Fuva: you are wonderful! You happen to be human, and our whole family has been following your blogs, cheering you on, and admiring your courage! this is just one chapter in your exciting life and you are doing “what comes naturally…or sometimes unnaturally”….what wonderful stories you will have to tell to your children and grandchildren someday. we all love you and know angels are with you….seen and unseen. Love, hugs and blessings, Gramma Jean

  3. I admire your honesty and bravery. Sharing such deeply affecting thoughts is not easy. I’m not very good at that. Nope, not at all.
    As to the high school reunions – I was much in the same place then that you are now, but we didn’t have the 10th year reunion. I always comforted myself that I was a late bloomer. The same applies to half my classmates, which is why the 15th year reunion was quite enjoyable. Too bad I couldn’t attend it, because flying across the ocean with a two-month old is not my idea of fun traveling, but I saw the comments and photos on Facebook. Fifteen years had done wonders to all of them (and they were great to begin with).
    I also agree with Suzanne – the adventure you’re living now, will stay with you forever, give you strength to go on and will be something to share with your grandchildren. In literature terms, you’re living the ‘exotic’ (as opposed to reading about it).
    Imperfection? Guess what? Perfect people are boring. If you wrote a book about them, it would consist if one chapter only. I’d read about your life two dozen and fifty times over 😀

    • Halley,
      As always, you tend to say just the right things! I used to keep all my feelings inside–so this is new to me: telling all (or almost all).
      A fifteen year reunion sounds like an ingenious idea! Just long enough… Unfortunatly, with Facebook we tend to know too much about everyone’s lives! haha

      Buen dia!
      Jania

  4. Love this post and everything that you’ve said here. These are the reasons for my own little life journey deviation, and the things I love hearing you blog about. Thank you for sharing each and every post as you learn and grow in your own unique way.

    • And thank you for yours, Jamie! I love reading your blog for the same reasons. Our lives are so parallel in so many ways! You know, you could TOTALLY get a job at my school here in Mexico…

      • I believe you, truly I do. However, I’m hoping next year to actually work with kids less than I am right now (even though right now it’s only about 15 hours a week.) I want to be able to work with people that can self-manage better than the kids do, and be able to work a little more independently myself as well. I don’t know what the future holds, but I think jumping the border to Mexico is one step I’m not willing to take.My year up here in WA is also a test of how I can do being away from home so long, and I’ve got to tell you, right now, I’m quite homesick.I haven’t been home since Christmas, and I feel like I’m just missing out. Sometimes i wish i could just go back to college and live those years again, but I also know that I’m past that. The question now is simply, “what
        next?”

  5. My Child, my heart,
    It is only through failure we can know success, Think about Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, those men had many failures….. Marie Curie, Ella Fitzgerald, Clara Barton, Joan of Arc, Susan B. Anthony, J. K. Rowling (listen to her speech to Harvard graduates…very interesting), Irene Hutchens (you know her history), Mary, the mother of Jesus (hmmm… wonder what people said about her letting her son go unattended at 12 years of age) although most of these people are famous, it isn’t famous that made them successful, it is their failures! I know, I know, I’m’ your mother so I supposedly have to feel this… but it isn’t just about you and your siblings… which I failed….. to mention each have been sucessful as all humans are successful in any particular subject when they realize they are imperfect/ yet perfectly made to grow, learn, hurt, grow again, learn, hurt, my goodness I believe this adds up to not just wisdom but peace within that we grow…. ok lecture over. And the beat goes on and on and on……..

    • Hahaha. Mama, I love that you called me your heart. Mexican women always say, “Mi vida…” “Mi corazon…” when they are talking to children. It’s adorable. I also love that you listed some strong women. Lesson noted.
      Mucho Amor,
      Nino

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