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Success, Failure...some of my greatest failures have been a springboard to my greatest successes...the terms are truly fluid.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Post Christmas Epiphany 2015

As the brand new, red car I was driving, sped confidently through the predawn darkness, I tipped the bill back on the baseball cap I was wearing. The car persisted in speeding between the beautifully lit up high rises of San Francisco's Financial District.

Most every American, boy or girl has a preferred way to wear our caps. For me, the origins were utilitarian. As a little girl, I played on local teams for a couple of years. My sister and I had very good grades so my parents decided to let us be involved in sports. Typical of Mom and Dad's work ethic, we were exact in showing up to nearly every practice. I loved the time with dad and practiced at home all the time as well. In spite of this I was mediocre at best after 2 years of all out effort.

But I loved playing the game, throwing, running and catching. I loved the challenge of it all. In class, things were always effortless. My good grades were the product of focus and a hyper excited attention span to everything in the classroom but there were no obstacles to overcome. My family on both sides were nerdy and scholarly. It is in my blood.

But on the baseball field, I worked hard. Giving it everything I had, I still only exhibited mediocre abilities. Like Hermione in Divination class...I realized painfully, that some activities did not rely on research and study. Striking out was the norm for me on the baseball diamond.

But that was the gift of baseball for me. I do love succeeding at things, especially if I put my mind to it, but there is great value in literally dropping the ball...or running as fast as you can, and still not beating the ball to base.

Baseball showed me how to have fun at failing regularly.

It was debilitating to let the team down....but it was a great life lesson to learn how to accept the crippling feeling of not coming through naturally. If it hadn't been for the lessons learned in my favorite game, I think fear would have gripped my thinking and living.

Fear of failure takes a back seat in my life because in spite of knowing the "agony of defeat" I enjoy the effort that goes into "trying"...even when I have no idea how anything will turn out from day to day.

In fact... I think that makes things more fun. Not knowing...having occurences work out in spite of meticulous planning...these have created inherent aspects of my personality which are a greater gift than any other education I have received.

I love trying and failing. I love trying and succeeding. I love the way failure does not ring of missed opportunities to me, but instead heralds borders along a path to success. I have seen too many so-called "failures" that have just been stepping stones on the path to "success". I have also had amazing successes that turned into failures.

As I get older, I realize the terms are fluid and interchangeable, and almost borderline, meaningless. It seems the real success is to see everything from multiple perspectives.

Today's version of myself, gliding between sleek, glittering high rises, with my shiny, new car and dirty hair tucked into a baseball cap, is a success of sorts. And she is a failure of sorts as well.

I don't know why that feels so wonderful to accept and appreciate, but it does fill me with a reminder that I love my life and myself.

Here's hoping I get to catch a few today and drop one or two as well. I think each is an ingredient to a life well-lived!