facing failure


What is there to say about failure?  That it’s a part of life? That it’s a big part of my life lately? That it sucks big time? How about that if some silver lining is to be found, it’s that every successful person has failed.  They really all have. Let’s just allow that to sink in for a moment.  Ahhhh

When I was a kid, I (fell) failed at ice skating, I picked myself back up, and I skated until I fell (failed) again.  I’m still terrible at ice skating.  Is there a point to that?  Eh, maybe.  Maybe it’s that this is what makes failure so scary–because there are things, like ice skating, that I’m never going to be successful at.  But, unlike ice skating, I’m willing to work through my failures in other areas of my life, things that are attached to who I am as a person and what I want to do. (I know you’re having a hard time believing that ice skating isn’t my purpose in life.)

I’m going to start referring to failures as “learning experiences” because that makes me feel better. 🙂  Plus, we’ve all met the person who was absolutely wonderful at everything he ever did in his life, and you know what?  He kind of sucks.  So, I say, a plethora failures learning experiences is the way to go.  Let’s jump off that cliff (figuratively) and get wildly excited about things that could be massive failures learning experiences. The success is worth it, I think.  The act of pushing onward with everything in us is worth it, I know.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Winston Churchill

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”

Truman Capote

“We are all failures- at least the best of us are.”

J.M. Barrie

“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.”

C.S. Lewis

“if you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes backbone to lead the life you want”

Richard Yates

“The peaks wouldn’t be nearly as beautiful without the valleys.”

– Mom


Go ahead and turn on Heart’s “Alone” for this one, but warning, you will be blown away by lace gloves, big hair (*cough* mullets *cough*), and face melting rock that will be stuck in your head the rest of the day.

Let me start out by saying that there seem to be two types of people in this world: people who like being alone (or I should say, find it necessary) and people who don’t.

Now, I divide the population, which I’m sure will cause a Civil War of sorts because the people who don’t like being alone don’t seem to understand the people who do. And, in fact, there are some people who will be saddened(!) by this post, when really, it’s not sad at all.

In case you couldn’t tell, I’m in the alone-time-is-necessary camp.  And for those of you who aren’t, if I may, I’d like to try to explain it to you.  I love people.  I like people.  Sometimes I need to be away from people.  Get it?  Not really?  Oh, well.  I knew it would be hard to explain.  Let’s put it this way,  I like wearing pants that don’t button, singing and dancing in my apartment, reading in a quiet room, and eating grapes like a madwoman.  ImageThese activities are considerably hindered by the presence of another person, and that’s okay because sometimes it’s good to wear pants that button, keep the improv dance to a minimum, read in a loud room, and share goofy grape eating with someone you love.  But sometimes the solitude part is important, too.

I get that these are silly necessities, but those are my needs, silly as they are.  And I like myself… just as I am.  (Sometimes, you have to be your own Mr. Darcy.)


Still don’t get it? Sorry.  Questions for angels.

Great Alone Quotes:

I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”  – Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“The primary distinction of the artist is that he must actively cultivate that state which most men, necessarily, must avoid; the state of being alone.” – James Baldwin (I felt very artsy reading this one)

“And I find – I’m 63, and my capacity to be by myself and just spend time by myself hasn’t diminished any. That’s the necessary part of being a writer, you better like being alone.”  -John Irving (Whew!  In the right field!)

“I actually like being alone. I spend most evenings reading and taking long baths.” – Shonda Rhimes

“My favorite hobby is being alone. I like to be alone. I also like dancing, fishing, playing poker sometimes and vegetable gardening – corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, I have a big garden every year.” – Emanuel Steward

“I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel.” – Audrey Hepburn

“Language… has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.” – Paul Tillich