Wednesday, June 29, 2011

In Praise Of Screw Ups

--Adrienne Miller

If there was ever a wrong turn, I've made it. Ever a safe bet, I've lost it. I've made more bad first impressions than good ones. I've run my mouth off when I should have been discreet, and I've frozen up in the clutch.

That's me. I'm a screw up. I wouldn't say I'm proud exactly, but neither am I ashamed. There's an upside to being a screw up, especially if you are a writer. I’ve learned some things that you can only discover when you're taking the long way around. Though I have to admit that, just like everything else, it took me a little while to learn them.

1. Failure isn't the end of world. It’s an inevitability. When you start out to do something new and different, you’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to give five wrong answers for every right one. You’re going to do a piss poor job until you learn how to do a good one.

But even then you’re not safe. Trust me, no matter what heights you’ve reached scaling your mountain, you are never immune from falling back down it. Maybe it’ll be hubris that does you in--no, I hear you say, no author has ever been guilty of that--or, maybe dumb luck. All I know is that it doesn’t matter. Because as any good screw up can tell you, it’s not the mistake but what you do after it that matters.

2. Life is not an equation. There is no formula for success or recipe for avoiding pain. There are no set of variables that will lead you straight to the winner’s circle, if only you can figure them out. Hell, I’m not even sure there is a winner’s circle.

Life is a crazy journey. A messy, sometimes joyous, sometimes tragic, always chaotic journey.

3. Playing it safe, isn’t. The middle isn’t any safer than the edges. Don’t believe me, re-read lesson number one. The only difference is that if you stick to the middle, you’ll blend in until you fade away.

When in doubt, listen to your heart. Yeah, it might take in you in all kinds of crazy directions, but, I promise you, you’ll have a hell of a time along the way.


Sophie Littlefield said...

wow, as life philosophies go, this one is not bad at all, A! I love your willingness to dive in every time....

Juliet Blackwell said...

Love this perspective -- and no matter how much we believe it already, it's always great to be reminded! Thanks for a lovely post.

Martha Flynn said...

WHADDYA MEAN LIFE ISN'T AN EQUATION *huddles in corner and rocks back and forth*

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