Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Courage to Fail

Last night we had last minute guests for dinner. It was a long time friend and his new girlfriend. Since it was Valentine’s Day and all the restaurants would be full, I knew we would have to eat in.

What could I throw together quickly in short notice? (I mean that pretty literally as time was of the essence and I didn’t want to run to the store.)

And what does this have to do with courage, you ask?

Let me tell you.

It takes courage to throw (remember, literally), together a meal for somebody, especially if you don’t know them. And it something I would not have been able to do in the not too distant past. You see, courage is something I have lacked for most of my life. Many of the people I know now would doubt that about me, but my long time friends remember me when.

-When I was so shy I dropped out of a class in college, and got an F for doing so, because I had to give an oral report. (Which I did, BTW, I just didn’t have the courage to share it with the class.)
- When meeting with somebody new I would assume they didn’t have time for me.
-When asked a question I would defer to anybody else, as long as I didn’t have to answer.
-When I wouldn’t offer assistance as I felt my contribution wouldn’t be good enough.
-When I wouldn’t apply for a show as I assumed in advance that I wouldn’t get in.
-When I believed that others were prettier, smarter, better at anything than I was.

So what changed?

Me, naturally.

And what changed me was failing. I didn’t sit in the corner and cry about it (though tears were indeed shed), I learned from each failure.

Often it was little tiny failures (such as a smoke alarm dinner), though there were some pretty big ones too, (like a less than stellar review). But I never ignored them. I learned from each of them what not to do next time.

Now, I’m not going to lie to you and say I love failing. No, not at all. But it doesn’t bother me so much anymore. Because if I had not failed, I would not be where I am today.

And that, I wouldn’t change for anything.

Have a great one!

Lest you think it's been all surgery and dinner guests for me, here is Cover Me a little further along on her path.

Cover Me, 48" x 36", Kim Radatz
P.S. Dinner was delicious! Company too.


Mary C said...

It is not the things that you have done in life that you will regret in the end, but rather the things that you do did not do...

Kim Radatz said...

I'm going to hope that is true, Mary, because, boy, I could regret a thing or two. All part of the learning curve, me thinks.

Thanks for your wise words.