A Coffee and Some Mistakes Friday
It’s hard to make mistakes. Oh, sure, there are those who seemingly spout off with barely a care or a concern about the importance of making mistakes, because it means you’re living and trying and doing something.
Not that the above isn’t true – the whole living and trying and doing bit. Because it is true, all of it. As I read recently from writer Neil Gaiman:
“… if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world … Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.”
But it is hard to make mistakes, to fail, to let people down and to miss the mark and to have to start over. There is no way around it. It can (and often does) suck. Yet I was recently reminded it’s also hard to be so cautious, so careful (and sometimes so lazy), to not see change in you or around you. In its own way, it’s not easy to keep repeating the same safe routine over and over again while it gnaws away at you that there is something more than this flavourless oatmeal-hued life you’re living.
I did recently fail at something: Camp NaNoWriMo. The 10,000-word goal did not even get one letter put against it. I meant to get going on it. I did. But my intentions got me nowhere, and I could offer at least a handful of reasons/excuses as to why I stood still when I should have been moving. What they boil down to, though, is the fact I don’t want to get it wrong. I don’t want to put the work into this story only to end up having it be awful and disliked – maybe even outright hated – by any number of people. (Plus, on some level, I still fight the mindset that says the reading and writing of fiction is an ultimately pointless and frivolous pursuit. But that’s a topic to be revisited for another day.)
But I’m also getting it wrong by not even trying. It’s not just in writing-related matters, either. I see it in my relationships, in my house, in (as Mr. Gaiman mentioned) work and family and life. And as I sit here, pondering and typing, I’m again reminded of a God who is neither cautious nor safe, who alternately parted and walked on wild waters, who admonishes me to be strong and courageous for He has promised He will be with me.
(I’m even reminded of a Saviour who always told stories.)
So while I hope you all have a good Friday, I also hope you will – as I need to do – get out there and not dread failing, whatever it is we’re aiming to do, to change, to grow, to be. Because the alternative – living a bland oatmeal-coloured life is not the better option.
Happy Friday, all!