Do you know that feeling in the summer when it's hot and humid outside, you feel tired and beat, and then you walk into your house and the air conditioning hits you like a brick wall and all of a sudden you feel better? Me too. I mean that as a metaphor, quite similar to another metaphor I have referred to in previous posts: a weight on my shoulders being lifted. Because of an unwillingness to fail, I had recently been stuck in a situation that was going nowhere and causing me nothing but anxiety and pain. I did not act to remedy this as soon as I should have. I am a very perseverant person; many people (including myself) would call me stubborn. If I decide to do something, to achieve some goal, I will do it. I will do it. And I will will myself to do it. Throughout my recent existence, failure has not been an option.
In many areas of life, this is a strength. It allowed me to put up with painful practices and exhausting conditioning sessions back during high school so I could play the sports I enjoyed so much. It allows me to focus on classes I despise in college so that I can keep my GPA at a respectable level.
This can be a weakness as well, without question. In the past, I have stubbornly tried to do things my way over and over, even when my way yields a less than optimal result. I have remained in negative situations for much longer than I should have; my willingness to put up with anything and everything can lead to me getting hurt. And my ability to put up with being hurt only makes the situation worse, rather than making anything better.
Failure has to be an option. As an inherently flawed individual, I am going to fail. I am going to screw up. "It's only after we've lose everything that we're free to do anything." Now, I am not advocating giving up everything to gain "premature enlightenment"; rather, I am advocating the freedom that comes with being willing to fail. Spending time living is way more appealing than spending time worrying about the possibility of failure. Failure is okay; beneficial even. No one who ever accomplished anything meaningful has ever done it without facing hardships or failures on the road to success (See Edison, Thomas; Jordan, Michael; Tesla, Nikola).
I write this as a result of some very personal events that have happened very recently. But I also write this as a result of a shift in my perspective: the way I perceive what it means to fail is drastically different now than it was in the past. And I am willing to fail now. Perhaps this will let me take chances I would have been afraid to take not too long ago. Perhaps it will change the way I live. Only time will tell.
And so on...