The Failure Chronicles

I’m not a person who is afraid of failure. Unless that failure pertains to an activity I really, really want to do. In other words, I don’t mind that I drive in a sort of Cruella-DeVille-meets-Miss-Daisy combo (I reconciled myself to that fact the first time I drove post-permit, when I covered my eyes with both hands and screamed the second I saw an oncoming vehicle). I don’t mind serving as the handicap when my friends play volleyball–actually, I’m just thrilled that I’ve been promoted from serving as part of the net support. I don’t mind that when I dance, my hips lie in ways that would make Shakira blush. All of these failures and deficits are expected, fully compatible with my self-schema.

But failure in areas I would like to excel. . .yeah, that’s another story. I hate that my photographs over the years have sincerely chronicled nothing more than the development of my index finger (which has become progressively less thrilling since about 1998). I would very much like to be, if not Annie Lebowitz, at least an average photographer.

I hate that I have not the money, time, or fridge space to experiment with recipes and develop into one of “those chefs” who can taste a dish and say, “What ho! We seem to need just a touch more chervil, Watson!” I aspire to be the kind of person who can pick chervil out of a criminal lineup. (Actually, as I write this, I’m just hoping chervil is actually an herb and not, say, a rare disease or a tropical bird).

I dream of competing on Project Runway, but I conveniently ignore the fact that the majority of my sewing experience occurred when I was six years old. In an effort to make a shirt for my dad, I took two square pieces of cotton and stitched them together for a grand total of an inch and a half. Persistence wasn’t really a part of my character at that time, as the folded squares of cotton that are still in my mom’s cloth collection testify.

My fear of failure in various areas of life has kind of led me toward an “outside-looking-in” approach, wherein I read the blogs of more interesting people and watch TV shows about more interesting people and completely disengage from efforts to make my own life interesting to myself, let alone to anyone else. So this blog is my attempt to step out–to play Drew Brees to failure’s Peyton Manning, even if it kills me (as Brees’ defeat of the Colts almost did). This blog is all about being a work in progress in terms of both character and achievements; it’s about learning on the fly and making do with what I’ve got. And I invite you, dear friends/readers/creepsters/couch potatoes along for the ride, in the hopes that you will find inspiration and maybe even growth in these chronicles of effort and (a whole lotta) failure.

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