The Bit About Failure
Updated: Jul 16
What about the failure part from my last post?
What if I fail?
That question has sat like a rock in my gut for years. Failure. The red X on every test. The F the sealed my fate for summer school. The empty checkbox next to my name telling me I did not get into choir. The 'sorry to inform you . . .' letter saying they would not publish my book.
F A I L
You feel it too, don't you? That tightness in your chest, that squeeze of embarrassment, that hot shame that you fell short.
I know you've felt it too. You've lived this just like I have.
So how do we get past it?
I read this quote long ago by Erin Hanson:
“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky.
And you ask, “What if I fall?”
Oh, but my darling,
“What if you fly?”
This changed my life. This gives me hope! It's the 'what if' that gets me up in the morning. What if this works?
What if this is magic?
What if I can be great?
Because that 'what if' is the lifeline to making dreams a reality. This doesn't mean there won't be failures or misses. This doesn't mean that it's all going to turn out right, because it won't. And it doesn't mean it won't hurt, it will.
This 'what if' means that there's a chance. It means that if I show up this could be mine, I could be this, I could do THIS.
I could fly.
But it also means that if I don't show up, if I don't try, then I don't get anything except the sorrow of a longing heart and the red F to accompany it.
The not trying is an automatic fall into the oppressively toxic arms of what-might-have-been.
So I try.
I'll climb that mountain with tears in my eyes and blisters on my fingertips. I'll look out at the vastness of possibility before me, take a deep breath and jump.
I might fall.
I might not make anything worth while.
My book might not sell, no one might contact me, I might sing completely off key, and I might get laughed at.
But I could get everything I ever wanted. I could live a life greater than I dreamed. I could become more than I ever hoped for.
So just jump.
See if you fly.
And even if you fall, the view is pretty spectacular. And when you reach the base of that mountain, you just climb again.
And maybe, as you work up that mountain after you've fallen, you make your own wings and eventually they work.
Tip- while newspaper can make an incredible dress, I do not recommend it for a flying apparatus.
Special thank you to Shea Hollister for her amazing makeup skills. Thank you to Bella who once again modeled for this project and brought it to life.
Many thanks to the sweet Gabby for doing Bella's hair and being a delight to be around!
Photography Studio in Athens PA.
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Fox Photography by Melinda Fox