Failure, Gratitude and Other Stuff of Life

We wouldn’t be living life if all of the decisions we made were good decisions,” I suggested to a coworker after he chastised himself for a multitude of poor decisions he had made in the past. I began to firmly believe that statement as each syllable rolled off my tongue and simultaneously decided that I should probably take my own advice.


Why is it so easy for me to remind others not to be so hard on themselves but no one is harder on me than me? Why do I beat myself up for not making it to the summit of the tallest mountain in the San Gabriels when I could barely stand due to nausea? Why do I feel like such a fucking failure sometimes when I tried, I gave it my best? I tell others, “You’re trying. That is all one can ask of another human being,” and I believe that with my whole heart though, somehow, in my warped way of thinking, those same rules do not apply to me?


I have asked myself these questions and then some and the answers vary from the unknown to the complicated to the understandable. Being easier on myself is something I have been and will continue to work on. As a natural people pleaser, I find myself doing things I don’t necessarily want to do just for the sake of making others happy which isn’t such a terrible thing until it involves my mental and physical health. I’m a work in progress, people. Fuck, we’re all works in progress.

I sound like I’m attempting to justify my actions, which isn’t what I’m trying to do at all. I know there’s no need to justify any of my decisions, perceivably good or bad, to anyone unless, again I am harming myself or someone else. I just recognize that part of my growth involves being honest with myself and writing it out and sharing it with you aides in this process. With that, I thank you. Whoever and wherever you may be – thank you. Practicing gratitude is something I don’t do enough of and am certainly making a concerted effort toward.

Up until now, it may appear as if I’m just babbling and in part, I sort of am. My mind has been all over the place lately, er always, which brings me to this: This afternoon, I allowed myself to do some grieving. Notice how I write the word, “allowed.” I’m obsessed with being able to control my emotions, my actions, my thoughts and my surroundings. It’s maddening because every experienced, intelligent person knows that this does not result in any desired outcome whatsoever.

As I expressed my feelings in an abrupt manner, the tears soiling the inside of my ears with that annoying wetness, anxiety threatened to take my breath away. Inside, I was destroying material things and screaming until I was red in the face. I am grateful for the hands that wiped those tears from my face and the embrace that reminded me, “It’s okay. Let it out.”

I feel abandoned,” I confessed. I felt abandoned by my dad as a child and I felt the ultimate abandonment after my mother died. I am so utterly alone inside this mind most of the time and I cannot control it.

You have so many people that care about you,” said those same hands that continued to comfort me amongst my admissions.

And he’s right. I am blessed with some of the most amazing people in my life. My words could never do these people justice but I will always try. These folks are my family and many of their kin have welcomed me into their family with open arms, always telling me they’re praying for me, thinking of me, and so forth. For this, I am beyond grateful. Their sentiments warm my heart and make me feel a little less misplaced.

I am frequently involved in some sort of correspondence with friends near and far, expressing our love and longing for each other’s company. I do not ever take these sincere exchanges for granted. So many people care about me and I, them. Many of these friends I do not speak to on a regular basis but we always pick up right back where we left off as if it were only yesterday. My heart is full and I feel a little less alone when I contemplate on these special relationships.

It’s okay not to be strong all the time,” the comforting hands brushed the hair behind my ear and I repeated his words in my mind like a mantra. It’s going to take some time to fully believe that one but I’m intensely appreciative for those who care enough to be there to remind me of that in the midst of my weaker moments.

For those of you who know who you are, I dedicate this song to you…

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Fearless George and the Itsy Bitsty Spider

I watched my youngest fur baby approach a spider this evening without any fear – he just went right up to it, sticking his nose against the creepy, eight-legged insect and I, in turn, began pondering what it would be like if we all approached life like my Georgie? What if we all nose-dove into all of the things that plague us with angst and extreme hesitation? What if we simply weren’t aware of the crippling ideology of fear the same way my furry, four-legged feline is clearly unaware of it?

As I continued to watch George approach the pest with great, innocent curiosity and semi-playfulness, I thought of my own fears and what approaching them in a similar manner might feel like, might accomplish?

Unlike George, we learn fear. We are taught fear. Our experiences mold our fears, small and large. Take the spider for example – Yes, there are some existing spiders that can poison and potentially kill a human being but most are empirically harmless and yet, many of us continue to fear these things, gasping, screeching at the smallest one whilst fleeing for the nearest inanimate object to splatter its guts with. At what point was this behavior learned? Where was it learned? And why? How can I unlearn it?

All of the above questions and then some can be applied to the majority of our fears and starting today, I’m going to make a conscious effort to do so. I never know what I may learn about myself, about others, about life and about taking risks. Maybe that risk won’t seem so menacing once I’m able to honestly answer the why’s, when’s and how’s. Every time I find myself confronted with my fears and anxieties which, let’s face it, is pretty much on a daily basis, I’m going to remind myself of my little Georgie and his fearless frolic with the tiny, unwelcome spider that lost its life shortly after my observation and deep contemplation.