Preparing for Failure

In my last blog entry, I told you the story of how, at age fourteen, The Main Point (the legendary folk club) showed me who I was, and beaconed me into my future.  I told you that it called to me louder and clearer than anything ever had.  What I didn’t tell you was that somewhere along the way, I stopped listening. 

Somewhere along the way I lost the path, and I started to prepare for failure.  I allowed other people’s voices to drown out my own, and I diverted my attention to things that were “more realistic.”  I buried the dream, and focused on the back-up plan.  

I had wonderful, deeply treasured experiences, but I had yet to feel like I was fully living in my own skin. I got sidetracked.  I got sidetracked again.  And yes, I got sidetracked again.  I allowed it!  I prepared for failure.  I prepared for it so well, that I succeeded. 

It also took me a long time to realize that no one (not even Joni Mitchell) can write a song as amazing as Joni Mitchell’s “Song for Sharon” right out of the gate.  I was my harshest critic.  I knew great songwriting, and I measured my fledgling efforts against the masters.  (My first song was about a dead squirrel.) But, the exciting news is that this year has been different! 

This year I wrote more songs than in the last many years combined.  It wasn’t magic or divine intervention.  It was about being purposeful about where I focused my attention.  It was about changing my daily habits and my mindset, and it was about finally respecting my true nature. 

This new way of being has been both validating and terrifying.  Now I am risking a new kind of failure.  I am risking finding out that I needed the back-up plan all along! But, the truth is that I already feel successful, because I am finally learning to walk in my own shoes.

What are you preparing for?

1 comment

  • mom


    You are as good a writer in prose as you are a singer song writer. Very impressive.

    You are as good a writer in prose as you are a singer song writer. Very impressive.

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