Ok, I have to admit. Last week I did something really stupid.
I mean... extra stupid.
I'm not talking about a normal kind of stupid. It was an extra-special-only-someone-as-lame-as-me-could-do-something-as-stupid-as-this kind of stupid. It was a stare-at-the-sky-screaming-profanities kind of stupid.
It was a stupid sundae with dumb-sauce.
It was the kind of stupid that either you crawl into a little ball and hide from.
Or you sit down and put pen to paper and learn from.
And that's what I did. (Well, technically, I screamed profanities, rolled around on the floor, hid my head in shame, and tried to blame anyone - or anything - else I could. And then, put pen to paper.)
I coached myself through it. And I felt better.
Dare I say... ? I even felt a little smart.
I realized that the most important things I've ever learned have come from some of the stupidest mistakes, dumbest reasons, lamest decisions, and worst ideas I've ever had.
Here a short list of some of life lessons that I've learned from fucking up:
1. Trying to convince someone to love me and to respect me is futile and unnecessary. Loving and respecting myself is the only necessity - a requirement of a happy life.
2. Justice is a fantasy. There really is no way to ever get it. And the wanting of it is incredibly toxic for me. Forgiveness is the kindest thing I can ever do for myself.
3. Lying to myself and/or to others is never the easy way out. It will never ultimately avoid a conflict. It will only create more conflict. The only way to peace is to tell the truth at all costs.
4. Spending money that I do not have is a painful way to live. Instant gratification creates anxiety, worry, and shame. Respecting myself and my money is the only way to lasting peace.
5. Spending more than I earn is drama that I don't need and I don't want. Financial responsibility feels better than anything I could ever buy.
6. I do not need to be saved. Nor do I want to be. Keeping myself helpless and needy only perpetuates financial and emotional irresponsibility. Being willing to learn, take responsibility and do my own work has created more freedom and peace than any 'hero' could have ever given me.
7. Making assumptions instead of researching the facts or starting a difficult conversation creates a pretend life. And pretend is never as good as the real thing. Pretend happiness, pretend wealth, pretend relationships, pretend success. None of these are satisfying. It's way better to ask questions, research the facts, have a difficult conversation, and to discover the truth. The only way to have a happy reality - is to actually live in reality.
8. Familiar doesn't mean comfortable. Nor does it mean good. Familiar just means that I've done 'this' before, it's what I am accustomed to. In many cases, familiar has been a bad sign. Venturing into the unfamiliar and being willing to learn and grow has brought me some of the most valuable lessons in my life.
9. Doing the wrong thing for longer will never make it right. I can't tell you how many times I've stayed with things that I knew were wrong, hoping to recoup my losses or turn things around. I love the Turkish proverb, "No matter how far down the wrong road you've gone - turn around."
10. Other people's opinions do not matter more than my own. I value the people in my life and the things that they teach me. But, at the end of the day, I live with me. If I live my life or make decisions to please other people, to get their approval, or to try to become who they want me to be - then I've forsaken my own life.