Maybe you are a loser. And maybe you’re not – but if you are, you don’t have to continue in that mode.
Maybe you just have a bad habit. Maybe you’re even just a collection of bad habits.
– Jordan B. Peterson
After almost a decade of writing regularly, I have detected a theme. Every so often I fall apart. Like bad. Sometimes I write about said falling-apart, and sometimes I don’t.
When I fall apart, I like to come up for air and write about what I have learned. Sometimes I post it, sometimes not.
Because otherwise, I don’t know what to do with that data. The falling-apart is then a record on repeat if I don’t get it out, make it into a list, and figure out what it means.
Last night, the fall apart fallout was so bad that I couldn’t breathe. My eyes were swollen, and I felt as if I haven’t rested in years. I haven’t felt this awful since probably a bad booze binge and shingles in 2014.
My mom texted me. “How are you feeling?”
I wrote her back, “I feel like shit.” I don’t tend to use bad words around my mom, at least not as much as I do in real, real life. #SorryMom But that’s when I know the falling apart is bad.
In other words, I believe this was a recent-record falling-apart.
With the falling apart, I note the following themes:
- I am a failure.
- I am a failure in general.
- Specifically, I am a failure at: motherhood, writing, love, money, nutrition, crossfit, running, swimming, yoga, thinking, reading, existing, living.
In other words, my falling-aparts center around being a failure. And failing at, like, everything.
For those playing along at home, you can imagine that failing is not something that a wound-tight, Type-A like me takes very easily. Yet it’s something I do–and do often.
The funny thing is, though, I tend to handpick paths for my life that are ripe with failure–and then I get mad when I fail at them. Like triathlon. Like crossfit. Like practicing law. Like being a writer. Knitting. Yoga. Those are hard things that require a shitton of failure before success.
But those are LIFE things. Those are things that life has–in other words, life is just a Failure Battleground.
Where I am today is at a crossroad of True Truth.
And here’s where I came out on the other side of this fall-down. Here is where I landed. And here is where I will continue to land–on my feet–especially when I’ve gone down a deep, dark hole of Instagram comparison, or realizing that people are no longer in my circle, and that’s okay. (A circle is not forever, despite it’s shape.)
- Failure is the true test of who we are.
- Failure is the opportunity to course-correct.
- Failure proves what we do when we are knocked down–do we get up? Do we keep going?
- Failure speaks volumes about character–how we handle it, how we plan our next move. If there is no next move, then that speaks as well.
- Failure shakes things up and gives us a new vision.
- Failure forces a new plan.
- Failure is life’s free do-over.
- Failing is the biggest gift of all.
I spent about 35 hours in a state of falling apart. That might seem long to some of you. But I assure you, this is a record rebound.
Failure, in order to be beneficial, requires the art of the rebound.
One of my athletes has been in the doldrums too. I scrubbed her training plan, and I inserted two weeks of daily, one-mile runs. And that’s it. With the description: “If you don’t have one mile for yourself, then something needs to change.”
She texted me, “I need to make myself a priority and damn right I can find time for one mile And eff–if that wasn’t an amazing mile at a record pace.” I could help her because I failed. Failing is the biggest gift of all. Because I was right there with her–stuck and sad. Because of that, I knew what I could do to help.
I realized that I had to let some things go. That the things I am letting go are not “failures,” but they are movements forward, not back. They are motions and places and this is MY LIFE, not a damn chess game.
Again. Life is not a chess game. And I am tired of treating it like one.
I understood during this breakdown, maybe for the first time truly, that things change, people change–and hello, thank GOD for that. Change is something I have always encouraged, but I am not sure I had fully embraced, not completely.
As for me, I am deep in my Year of No Nonsense—the more Nonsense I uncover and work through, the more I keep going. The tougher I get. The more sure-footed. The more my plate clears. The more my emotions freak out–and then settle. The more breakdowns I may have, but this work on myself, on my life is some of the best yet.
Just sometimes we have to fall apart and fail to see what the truth really is.
Like I have said before–we can’t fill our cracks, and we don’t need to.