I was recently in Brighton, and there I tried two things that I failed at. I know, it’s not cool to say that you failed at something, but I’ve never been one to shy away from saying the direct thing (failed) as opposed to the more diplomatic thing like the Brits do (just not as good).
As a kid, I never really had much. After junior school I had no friends as we split up in different high schools and I moved in a new borough. It was annoying and frustrating moving into a place where either kids were under 8, or most people were over 35. Nobody to befriend. I’m sure you’ve heard sob stories like this.
However, let’s get back to when I was under 10 myself.
I had a few friends in my building block, and we’d usually play football, some random games like tag, catch, ducks and hunters, cops and robbers, card games, and other stuff, too. It was fun. And kids today won’t really know that. Sounds like an old timer’s thing to say, but it’s true.
You see, one of the things that I did back then was to climb trees, garages, and other concrete items. I remember one day I came home with some bruises on my thighs, yet nothing was hurting, all from doing slow rock climbing with my local abandoned builder’s site. It felt great.
Climbing things releases endorphins that make one feel good about themselves, because you’re doing a challenge. It’s like running that 5k in less than 25 minutes, or doing 10 straight laps in the pool when you could only do 2 without a break before. All of it is a challenge meant to make you better at something.
And then you stop that something, and along the way you forget how it was. And bit by bit you forget about yourself as you go into another version of yourself. So, when I tried to climb a small pillar in Brighton last week, and failed at lifting myself on it, (although I didn’t want to ruin my clothes and shoes, so there’s that excuse), I was a tad annoyed at how I couldn’t even do such a simple thing anymore.
Before that, I tried to learn how to ride a bicycle. I never had one growing up, and barely had a friend who had one, but didn’t want to share, so no wheel touches until later on in life.
When I moved in the country, my cousin had one. I borrowed it for a couple of hours during which I nearly broke a bone under my kneecap. Fun times.
I tried it again in Brighton, nearly 4 years after that, and could not go past the first pedal, even with the help of a biker-by.
Failures are important. Some allow you to grow, some allow you to see what you can or cannot do, and some will make you frustrated with yourself and proceed to make comparisons with others, which is the wrong thing to do.
Embrace your failures, and move on. Don’t linger, but reminisce. Even the bad moments are better than not trying.
First appeared on my blog.