The beauty of failure

Hey all,

There is a thing I have been thinking about a lot recently and the clue is in the title so this should not be a surprise but it’s the idea of failure. Failure can resemble certain people, significant events, targets, anything. Whatever it resembles to you, failure should not be feared. It is as inevitable as the next breathe you take (and now become hyper aware of). I feel that as a whole, the majority of people I know, fear failure for the fact that they perceive the outlook others will have on them and because of the deskilling factor it plays. But when you look deeper, I don’t remember constant success growing development and resilience. It is within the failure that we learnt the lessons that form our values and our identity. The ethical guidelines that we internally adhere to become the cornerstones of your identity, both professional and personally. And it is within these failures, do you realise what we desire the most. The things that we are willing to let life kick the crap out of us for day after day. Success is great, but failure is damn right beautiful.

This made me think about the failure as an event. If it is as inevitable as I think it is, then it is actually the event more than the emotion. Why? Because everyone will experience failure in their life, that will happen. If you haven’t yet, brace yourself. Someone may fail to meet you, you will fail a job interview, your jeans will rip. These are all examples of failure. But those are all not individualised and you cannot change the presence of these failures when they come. But what is different is the emotion that it provoke. The emotion that you choose to react with is what we do have control over. The thinking between the failure is also your responsibility. So what I am saying is that if you know you cannot change the event (failure), then it’s the thoughts and behaviours that we associate with that are our responsible and so our the consequence that follow those behaviours. If you fail and then you self destruct then you are responsible for the aftermath. The red button will only activate when you push it. I think what I ask myself all the time is what is I never pushed the red button again? What would happen to me? I think it’s time to re-evaluate my own rule book.

Despite this spontaneous re-evaluation, I still choose not to be afraid of failure. I like the growth that parallels failure’s presence in my life. I do one thing that scares me everyday and sometimes hope that I fail. I learn the rules better than way. I learn where I can push the boundaries and where I stand with people. Apologises are not hard to come be with me around and I would much rather ask for forgiveness than permission. To failure is to ultimately succeed. You cut your hair often to make it grow, and the more your fail is the more you learn. I don’t learn through my successes. That’s a reinforcement of what I already know what things I am good at. Why do we as humans think that we must be perfect? That we will get it right without practice? Is everyday we walk this earth another practice day? And when you fail, who’s standards are you failing by? If the answer is not your own, stop whatever you are doing and look in the mirror. You should always and only set your own bar. You do not owe anyone anything.

Screw the others I say. Fail gloriously and as often as you can. The beauty of failure will forever outweigh the dizzying unsteadying heights of success. Your platform will be more stable with deeper roots and a familiar face. Someone said to me once, “don’t judge someone by the successes under their belt, but their reactions to the failures they experience”. I finally get it, I finally see the honesty in that. Failure hurts in the moment you experience it. I don’t love those moments. But what I do love if the thought I have directly after it. The “I am never wanting to experience that again” and the “what can I learn from that?” That’s where the success happens. That’s where my identity is taking shape from. Bruises are only so deep but values run to the core. Failure makes me build myself from the inside out.

Today, I failed, I failed little and often. But I learnt things by doing it. I learnt that I do really value my space. My me time is my favourite time. I realise I give myself to a lot of people, and I don’t want to change that. Maybe I just realise that that requires me to take more time hiding away. A lesson can only be learnt when thought about and reflected upon. So here I am, thinking about it.

Time for sleep,

Ivy xx

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What’s left behind

Good afternoon virtual void,

Take that as it was intended to be, a compliment. A void is an empty space but it is also something that has no legal binding or enforcement. This space, these pages, are my dumping grounds that do not judge me for my lack of communication, my appearance, my mood. It has no demands, just limitless space solely for me. It’s beautiful and it feels like my best friend sometimes. Its funny that I found a best friend in such a void. Or this is just me finally learning to love myself? Either way, your value and simple existences is greatly appreciated.

I found this thought today when I was sitting in Starbucks in my town and planning my weekend to London. Tomorrow morning I jump on a coach to the big smoke for a weekend of self love. Just me, myself and I (and oh about 3 million strangers) in a city of dreams. The city where I stopped being my mother’s daughter, the sister, the child and I stared at the world as Ivy. I threw all the titles in a bin and said “This is me, world. Ready or not.” I felt my strength and passion for people and life grow as I shred the layers of naivety and self doubt. Looking back now, just wow! What a life I have made for myself. The things I have seen, the people I have met. I’m going “home” for a weekend like a child does when they take their school work home to put on the fridge.

This got me thinking about what is left behind after the world takes it’s pounds of flesh each day. After the light fades and darkness creeps in. Where pillows welcome home their masters and the unconditional love written all over the my walls speaks to me to say “it’s okay, I missed you.”

I see myself in all the different hats I wear on the walls – the best friend, the auntie, the sister, the daughter, the graduate, the mother to my dog. Then I see my favourite photo in a beautiful white vintage frame. I see my niece and I on the beach from Christmas just past. I see me there, the version that is still there after all the labels are removed, after the world has had enough of me for a day. I see the version that is always there but few actually get to see. I see the girl that made her own world out of the rumble of a thousand wars but a million victories. I see the girl wearing a bathing suit and smiling. Unfortunately, this society tries to make me feel ugly because it is ugly. Society is an ugly beast with a beautiful face and impossible expectations. However in this picture, I see a girl who is bigger than your “average” girl and I am smiling. I am smiling a big fuck you to society smile. That is the girl I am taking home for the fridge, the girl that will be getting on the coach tomorrow. I wear my battle wounds with my medals of honour and I don’t let the world get to close to me anymore. I cry so many less tears these days but I still pack the tissues. Society, people, supposed love stopped apologising for hurting my feelings and I stopped expecting them to change. I got the confidence to walk away from those people, those places, those ideations that left me in a rumble and I got stronger. I see all this when I see that picture. I just see me and I am doing okay.

So what’s left behind when all is said and done? Well, me. Me is the developed, refined form. Me that never tears myself down anymore. Me that goes to sleep every night saying to myself “well done and I love you.” I do love myself and I am proud of myself. I have come so far since you London. I cannot wait for you to see me, you are going to be so proud. I am more than society can handle. I will feel your touch and smile. I will be alone and I will become familiar with you again, even just for a weekend. I will fall in love with you whilst you get to know me. You will see the girl in that picture dancing on my own. There is room for improvement but I have a solid base now, I am not hollow anymore. I am substance. I am beautiful. I am proud to be me.

We all feel that we could have done something differently or handled a situation better. However, what butterfly effect would that have caused. Yes I would have been more grateful for my family, was less moody as a teenager and spent more time with my father before he passed away. But those moments taught me lessons about time being precious and be kind above all else which I may not have learnt those lessons otherwise. So instead of reliving that, I want to say well done to myself. I’ve coped well and I am still standing. Because in this society, we are all a bit too quick to criticise and find faults within ourselves. We should be taking the time and building ourselves up. We need to love the crap out of ourselves in order to survive. We need to gave ourselves a break because life is hard and it’s cold. Society is brutal and as unforgiving as the concrete you hit at the bottom. All you can do is pick yourself up, stand tall, and drown them out.

So ready or not, here I come,

Ivy xx

Conversant

Uncompromising

Grasp

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