Not only did I fail to make the basketball team, I also dropped the ball when I was going to ask out my first two sweethearts and when I tried to skate. Learning to snowboard went just about as bad as you can imagine and 13 classes in I still don’t have a handle of salsa.
It truly is remarkable the amount of failures you can pile up on top of one another before you even start scraping the surface of the ones you feel deep inside. The ones that leave you trembling from time to time because of what could have been and about the memories of how you felt in those moments.
I’ve failed at love a few times and ran away from my own dreams even more times. I’ve lived with the loss of my father and held onto to even more because I fell like I failed him. But why stop there when it’s just as easy to look back at so eras where you floated, lost in the ether of ambivalence.
Holding onto all of these is a cross you must bare until that moment when you realize the growing strength and resilience that comes with being able to see into the dark and coming to terms with those unsettled feelings.
Lurching in that darkness today, and for the past two years for that matter, has been a failure of mine that has sprouted wings and re-appeared from time to time when I expect it least. Shooting stars have less decor then this uninvited guests when it swoops in to distract me at a lecture, or on my travels, or even when I blankly dream off into the horizon.
Each time it reminds me of the infectious idea that hasn’t made its way out of my soul yet because it’s that one fleeting idea that felt like a breakthrough towards something grander. And perhaps this is the entrepreneur’s prison?
Several names later and fourteen eureka moments late my failure still has a grip on me, and I on it. Fourteen hundred hours later and nothing is stirring except an even grander sense of uncertainty and longing for that first day when it felt fresh, ideal, perfect, and resilient to all the doubters… namely me.
The darkness isn’t such a bad place though because in that place ideas can be reborn and shift and transpose in ways that pride would never allow to an idea out in plain sight. Smash it to pieces, I’ve said, and with each throw to the ground a new branch of opportunity reaches toward the sky and into my Utopian imagination.
Lest we forget that in great struggles do grand ideas suggest. Letting go of these fertile ideas is not something I cannot digest. Neither should I.
It may feel like the biggest failure of my life has been languishing with this idea for so long, but imagine if I would have let go of it. Seeing it float away have have been shattering and neither rewarding or a learning because the conviction needed to hold on so dearly requires an adore so rarely found that we must know it empowers.
My greatest failure would be letting go of great idea and I will not.
Hold on dearly to what matters to you and particularly to what challenges you to utterly reconfigure your view. A little dismay, trepidation, and vertigo are all part of the ascent towards your goal.