I call my son the perfection of an imperfect journey. There is no phrase that better describes how I feel about being his mom and the journey that we have taken together. Most would believe that getting pregnant at sixteen would be a failure too great to overcome; but that’s the thing about failure, it’s temporary. The only aspects of failure that are permanent are the lessons you learn or the new journey you get to take because of it. I am grateful that at such a young age and with such a large and public failure of teenage existence, I gained perspective of the world and of our journey through this life. I gained so much love, determination and an unwavering focus from what was clearly an unplanned, dare I say mistake in my life. From a very young age, I was given the secret to success. I learned that failure is a ride and not a destination. I learned that we can ride failure into the future in one of two ways: we can ride it towards success or we can ride it to nowhere. The same failures can get us to very different places depending on what we do with them. In the same vein, often the wave we are riding feels like failure and is merely a detour to lesson-ville.
You won’t hear me say that I don’t fail or that failure doesn’t exist outside of our minds. It does. I believe I have failed and I am sure I will fail again. What I know about failure is that while it does exist, our understanding of what it means for us is the only way we can understand whether we are failing or not. I was given the gift of learning perceived failure very early in life. Even the most insurmountable mistake did not equate to an insurmountable failure. As a result, I have journeyed through life with a little less pressure around failure. I recognize that it is temporary, and I define failure in a very narrow way for myself as a result. I will try almost anything because I do not fear the permanency of failure.