Yesterday was an opus of failure. I embarrassed myself at a new client meeting. I was late to a lecture …at which I was the speaker. I stubbed my foot on my coffee table, so I can’t even wear a 2-inch heel today. I had a women’s doctor appointment, which makes me feel like I’m being treated for the failure of not being a man. (And, by the way, the doctor's scale is broken...I hope.) My car gave out in the middle of 5 o’clock traffic the day before my oil change appointment at the car shop. And, lacking transportation and fearing what the universe still had in store for me, I missed a girlfriend’s surprise birthday get-together. Why is it so easy for others to not say the wrong thing, gauge distances to hard objects, weigh proportionately to their height, never disappoint their friends, and show up to appointments and maintain their vehicles on time?
I took comfort from a good friend’s recent note (the moment she starts a blog, I’ll link it!):
“I worry about the effects of things I said or did years ago, long-forgotten by the other parties involved. I worry that a misspoken word, a misplaced comment, a misunderstood facial expression, or an inadvertent gesture will damage rapport, will destroy reputation, will exacerbate relationships. …Even my actions must, I believe, follow a strict regimen in order to keep up my appearance of being attentive, caring, interested, and otherwise desirable to have around. The reason I do this is because people are measured by their failures instead of their successes.”
When I read these words the first time, I was astonished at how I’d never heard anyone say these things before, but also heartened that I had proof someone besides me ever felt this way. Without her starting this conversation, I might have never had the epiphany I had this morning: everybody poops. Everybody.
You’re not alone, so get up and try again today.