The Year of Oops

I’m a complete and utter mess. (Have you noticed the self-loathing theme this week? It’s not just the past 7 days–it’s my whole life.) But, for the record, it isn’t an exaggeration.

For example:

When I have too much on my mind, I forget things. Important things. Like my wallet, keys, and pants, when I already have my coffee, book, and phone.

I’ve slipped on a bathroom floor when it was wet…right after my entire family commented on how very slippery and soaked it appeared to be.

I’ve washed several chapsticks with my clothes, and I’ve stained a dozen of my favorite shirts with waxy lip balm forgetfulness.

And do you know how I’ve really messed up? I’ve been petrified, terrified, and downright scared to make any mistakes. Any mistakes at all.

You see, as a straight A student throughout high school, I didn’t get those grades by not understanding the material. I studied hard and I absorbed a lot. And as you can probably tell from those same grades, I rarely made mistakes.

And while the grades helped me get into a school I loved and landed me a dream job, I am a paralytic, fearful adult because I don’t know how to handle my errors when I do eventually make them. Because, oh yes, I make them. And I most definitely sweat the little and big things. Profusely. I just never learned how to bounce back from them.

But this year? No more. I’m going to make mistakes and I’m going to embrace them. I’m going to mess up all the time, and I’m going to learn. I’m going to color outside of the lines of my adult coloring books. I’m going to blush even harder when I confuse the men’s for the women’s bathroom.

And really, what is better than learning something when it’s been emotionally seared into your brain because you’re so embarrassed? You won’t forget a lesson that your brain can’t forget because you can’t stop reliving the mortification every night before bed!

But more importantly, making mistakes means that I’m living my life. I’m taking charge, and I’m learning from what happened. And in the end, it’s the lessons we learn, not the grades that we get, that measure our true wisdom.

(NOTE: I barely checked this for grammar because of the whole embracing of the mistakes thing. See? I got this New Year, New Me thing in the bag.)

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