Looking for Concrete

January 8th, 2013

What is my endgame this year? Where do I want to be? What do I want to achieve?

Ex-Lover asked me to take 8 minutes and really visualize myself being in that space of having achieved my goals, after putting it on the calander. Select a concrete goal, set a deadline and visualize having achieved it.

But my goals from last week aren’t really concrete, that’s why he says they are more like resolutions, that’s what resolution means to him. Things you’re going to do, whereas goals are the end result. Where do I want my behavior changes to take me?

I have trouble with that. I think we all do. Defining success. Because we’re so afraid. Of failure. Of that success. Because if we can accomplish one thing, people are going to expect us to accomplish more. And if we don’t, well, then we’re useless failures. Right? No!

I set my resolution/goals at five aims. Write more erotica, experience new things, cherish what I have, take care of myself and grow stronger friendships. But where is it I want to be at the end of the year? I want to be successful, independant and fulfilled.

Okay, good start. But what does that really mean to me? What does that look like?

I’m a writer. I’ve wanted to be an author since freshman year of college. I have had short stories published here and there. I’ve been blogging here for a few years now. I put together some erotica collections last year. But what I really want, is to have a book out there, that people want to read so much, they’re not just willing, but happy to buy it. That, to me, is success.

I work non-commission retail, and have done for ten years now. These last three years have been averaging twenty hours or less a week, with no benefits. I am almost completely dependant on hubby for financial survival (for richer, for poorer, eh?), and health benefits. I have had other part-time jobs, and enjoyed them. I have looked for other employment, usually very specific ideas in my head, mostly unrealistic. This year, I am broadening my search, casting a wider net to find anything that would give me a decent salary, benefits and stability. I am not giving up the idea that it will be a job I like, there’s no point in getting new job that will crush me more than my current one, but I’m open to wider possibilities. Independance to me, is not basing my decisions on someone else’s income.

One left, fulfillment. This one is a bit more nebulous. It’s about not just settling for what I have, but being happy with it. It’s about searching out those things that I want and making them a healthy part of my life. It’s about having everything I need. It’s about continueing to grow. Fulfillment is living the life I want to have.

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Failure and Perfection

April 22nd, 2010

Failure of perfection. Perfection of failure. Fail again. Fail better. Make mistakes with confidence. Reach for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.

I grew up with the expectation of perfection. All A’s in school or there better be a good reason. High test scores, do well in academic competitions. Best behavior, don’t cause trouble. Be polite and kind to everyone. Do everything to the best of your ability.

So, what happens when failure is the expectation? When the object is to push and push until you fail? When failure is the road to growth? How do I reconcile this with my ingrained desire for perfection? Which, when it comes down to it, has become a fear of failure.

Well, it’s just one more fear to overcome, then, isn’t it? What am I truly afraid of? What does failure mean? Why is it scary? Failure equates to loss, for me. Loss of face, loss of respect, loss of pride, loss of love, loss of approval. I need to rewrite this equation. Failure is the road to success. Failure is the path to learning and growth. Great things have been accomplished in the history of man through even greater failures. If I allow myself to be paralyzed by the fear of failure, I will never even try. I will never grow. I will never know what I could accomplish.

I have allowed my fear to stop me these past two weeks. I have let uncertainty and hesitation keep me from growing. I have given fear the control instead of giving it to him. I have failed to try. To top it all off, I even failed to see what was happening and to communicate it to him. Fortunately, he saw it, and he did not fail me. He turned on the light and shined it in my eyes until I could see, and kept it there until I could understand and accept and admit it.

Now I take the next step. Eyes wide open, I accept failure. I will walk out on the wire and not look down for the net. If I slip and fall, I’ll make a beautiful dive on the way down. I will, as always, do my best, but I will not let fear hold me back. I will accept the risks, enjoy both failure and success, and learn from them, too. There are things I want to do, places I want to go, experiences I want to taste, fears to overcome, limits to break.

I am so lucky and grateful to have people around me who accept me for who I am, for what I can and cannot do(this list gets smaller every day), and who push me to be better than I ever thought possible. Who, when I fall down, reach out a hand and help me back to my feet. Who believe in me, even when I am at my worst and who rejoice with me when I am at my best.

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