Owning up to Mistakes

This past week, I have been thinking about what I want to write today. I had so many ideas swirling through my head, and even more in a box on my desk that I could not really decide which one I wanted to do first. However, this morning I was definitely sure of which one I wanted to do.

See, in last week’s post, I made an assumption, and I got called out on it, both to my face and online. It took me a few days to find the words to say, but I found them and amended my post. Nevertheless, it wounded my pride to do so. This blog has been in existence for almost six months, and after receiving nothing but praise, I definitely had some sort of an ego. However, that was also partly because I had not really written anything controversial; I had only told stories or been motivational. But life is controversial. There are things I do that other people don’t agree with, and there are things other people do that I don’t agree with. That’s the beauty of individuality. We do not have to all be the same.

Anyway, I want to publicly own up to the mistake I made. I never meant to offend or upset anyone, and I apologize if I did that. Writers need both criticisms and compliments to improve. Similarly, I found a quote that says, “A strong person accepts both compliments and criticisms graciously, knowing that it takes both sun and rain for a flower to grow.” No good time is complete without a rough one. They balance each other out in every way. There is no point in me being upset that I got called out, because it won’t do me any good. I need to learn and grow from it so that I may improve in the future. Mistakes are excellent but hard teachers. You must make them to learn from them.

However, that does not mean that you avoid making them entirely. You never know until you try. The quote on the front page of my blog says, “Maybe life isn’t about avoiding the bruises. Maybe it’s about collecting the scars to prove we showed up for it.” If you avoid making a mistake, you never learn. Speaking of bruises, whenever I get one on my body, I have a habit of poking them to see if they are painful or not. When they are not, I usually end up poking them five or six more times to be sure. However, when they do hurt to touch, I try to avoid touching it because I do not like to be hurt. But the thing is, I would never know if it hurts or not if I do not touch it. It’s like Schrödinger’s cat. The cat is both alive and dead in the box because you do not know. The only way to find out is if you open the box. So it is with risks. You take a risk, and sometimes it pays off; sometimes it results in a huge mistake. You never know until you try.

It is not fun to own up to your mistakes, but it is one of the biggest marks of maturity in a person.  You, me, or anyone else for that matter needs to accept the mistake made and the consequences therein. I will be the first person to tell you that I am nowhere near perfect. I make more than my fair share of mistakes. I am so far from perfect. But I accept my mistakes, and I learn from them. I do my best to use them and to adapt. I always tell people, “If I upset you, please let me know because most of the time I don’t realize I’m doing it, and I don’t like people being upset at me.” I like to make people happy and understand what they do and don’t like. For example, a couple of the girls I live around are really picky eaters.It has definitely taken me time to learn what they like and don’t like. If I’m unsure, I ask them. I am the total opposite of that. I like most foods. However, I know that sometimes it can be hard for them to find food that they actually like besides what they already know they enjoy. Based on their appetites, sometimes I will recommend them things to try. Sometimes it pays off and they find a new food they like, and sometimes they eat it and shake their head in disgust. Honestly, I am just glad I can get them to try new things occasionally. They don’t need to like every food. I don’t like every food. I love that they take my suggestions sometimes, even if it is a mistake. I would rather them be sure they don’t like a food than always just assuming.

All in all, life is worth the risk. A few years back “YOLO” was popular to advocate people doing reckless things. That is not what I’m saying. YOLO means you only live once. That much is true. You do only have one life, so make the most of it. However, that does not mean do things with reckless abandon. Be thoughtful, but take chances. Live your life. Make mistakes. Learn from them. Become a better person. It is your only life, so live it well.

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