The number of mistakes I've made in my life are uncountable.
From the small ones like dropping a triple decker ice cream cone on the ground. To the bigs ones like really truly messing my life up for years on end.
Some drugs weren't meant to be used. Some people weren't meant to be slept with. Some jobs just don't need doing. And some friends really aren't friends at all, are they?
But here's the question: are they really mistakes?
Would I be here today if I hadn't royally messed up my life for years on end?
Would I have moved to Ecuador where I met the love of my life if I hadn't had so many messed up relationships all in a row?
Would I have ever written a solo show if I hadn't dropped out of theatre school?
Would I have ever made it to the jungle if I hadn't been so in pain that the thought of staying in my own country became oppressing and moving to another continent seemed like a relief?
The mistakes I've made are what led me to the greatest joys of my life.
That's something I need to write down and remember. Every mistake I have made, when examined, when cradled with kindness, has turned into a diamond. A diamond that I could never otherwise have found.
As long as we learn from our mistakes, then they are blessings. Even if we don't learn from them, they're still blessings. It's not their fault we aren't paying attention.
I have a tendency to be very hard on myself when I make a mistake.
Even over something as small as a grammar error. For a few horrible months I worked as a Communications Coordinator for a private school, and I would get a terse email from the President every time I had a typo in the newsletter. A wave of shame would wash over me. What an idiot, how could I have not seen that mistake!?!
And then shame would turn into anger.
I sometimes wanted to scream at him that I've seen typos in the New York Times and they have proof readers for God's sakes. I'm just me. One person. Doing a thing. That nobody cares about. I didn't scream at him. But I did eventually yell at his secretary who had a malicious bent and later burst into tears in his office. Oh the dramatics.
People get hung up on mistakes.
They don't get over them. Or they get so obsessed with not making them that they never do anything spectacular. They never even try to do something spectacular. Or even exciting. Fuck spectacular, how about just fun, new, weird, different?
If you do something new you're going to make mistakes.
You're probably going to make dumb mistakes. Not even rational mistakes that you can explain to yourself. Straight up stupid stupid mistakes. And you know what, I think that's perfectly fine.
I just got an email mentioning that I had spelled video making, videmaking in an online video I had made for my students. Videomaking is what I do. How could I spell that wrong? Well, apparently I can. And did.
And it would be easy to think that I'm some kind of lazy idiot who doesn't know how to spell check her own work.
Spiralling into self-hatred is always fun. But I don't do that anymore.
Nope. Because mistakes create learning. Mistakes create meaning. Mistakes make us stronger. Mistakes keep us humble. Mistakes are the stuff of life. If you're no longer making mistakes, then your life is probably pretty boring.
I will take a non-boring, mistake-ridden life any day.
Granted I'm not going to try to make them. I'm still going to do my best to strive for excellence. But still, I'd rather be constantly trying and constantly getting it wrong, then not trying at all.
And yes, I'm going to hire a proof reader.