The beauty of making a mistake

vI’m a big fan of The Pursuit of Harpyness, and in this post, she explores Marva Collins’ wonderful quote:

If you can’t make a mistake, you can’t make anything.

I remember lying about my age when I first started in the rough-and-tumble field of daily journalism. I started doing that when, during an interview that wasn’t going well, the interviewee lowered his glasses to the tip of his nose and asked, “How old are you, anyway?”

I was 19, but I answered with the oldest and most mature age I could think of.

“25,” I said, and thus started years of untruths, when I lied about my age for so long that by the time I blew through 25 and went into my 30s, if someone asked me, I’d have to stop and do the math.

I did that to disguise what I figured was an obvious flaw in me. Rather than being happy that at the dewy age of 19 I’d found the job of my dreams, I worried that soon the people would see that I Was A Fraud, far too young and immature to hold a Real Job. But I figured they might not look so closely if they thought I was all of 25 — a real, live grownup.

I don’t lie about my age any more (I’m 50.) and I don’t worry about people finding out that I’m a fraud. I am not a fan of making mistakes, but I’ve made enough of them (some quite large) that I’m kind of used to it.

But I know there are things I haven’t tried because I fear failure — or making a mistake. I stuck with what came naturally. Was that wienie of me to do that? Play to my strengths? Is this the thundering hooves of my midlife crisis?

Nah. I have that scheduled for Thursday.

Oh, and here’s more on Marva Collins.


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