Day 3. The opportunity to fail.

I’m going to try to keep this one short, for several reasons but let’s get into it.

I woke up at 6:15 this morning, not to go to the gym but to join a company wide zoom which happens every other week. The owner of the company hosts these and does a great job of setting the tone and bringing in some mindfulness and wholistic practices to the work place.

He talks a little bit and then asks a few questions that we all break off into the break out rooms and discuss within the smaller group. There were almost 200 people on the call, the break out rooms were about 9 people each. I was in a room with 8 people I’ve never met nor spoke with before answering questions about myself.

They weren’t incredibly intrusive questions, not that I am a good gage of that either – here I am constantly spilling my inner most thoughts and feelings for 30 days straight. However, when we got back in the big group, the owner asked “did anyone share anything that was personal and made you feel vulnerable.”

As he was expecting an overwhelming reply because he asked to stay muted but use the ‘raise hand’ function of zoom. Only 1 guy raised his hand. Honestly, now that I think about it that’s kind of funny. He was put on the spot to share something that made him feel vulnerable in a group of 9 people and now the owner of the company was asking him to share it in front of 200 people.

He did share what he said and the owner responded with “wow, I can see how that would make you feel vulnerable sharing, but thank you for sharing.” It wasn’t anything crazy, it was akin to an adult sleeping with a stuffed animal. He just shared a comfort he utilized. The point the owner was making is that vulnerability is a hard space to be in. Vulnerability can be a sort of transformative area. He was explaining that if you do or say something from the place of vulnerability you are left open for several things – one of them being the opportunity to fail.

He posed the general question of “when was the last time you gave yourself the opportunity to fail.” I IMMEDIATELY thought of my art. I have “failed” so many times over the past year+ with different projects. So many times. I even brought this exact thing up to my brother once, not too long ago about how a piece I was working on totally sucked but instead of scrapping it I just painted over it and started again.

My brother and I went on to talk a little bit about the progress in that. Not giving up. Noticing that my whole world didn’t fall apart because this galaxy I was painting wasn’t as illuminating and magestical as I had imagined. So I didn’t throw that illuminating and majestical* world away… I kept trying to unlock it. I still haven’t. But, to be honest I haven’t tried since the 2nd time because I was working on some other projects the past month. It is still on my table in the “to-do” pile.

Then at the end of the day, I ended up having a conversation with my manager that spiraled into almost an hour long chat and it was amazing. We connected on a bunch of things, I felt very safe and opened up about some of the things I struggle with namely anxiety, perfectionism (slash quitting when they’re not perfect) and we talked about Brene Brown and affirmations.

I told her I had a new affirmation/mantra for when I started this job. My mantra is “you don’t have to be the best.” I know this may sound like a weird mantra for some of you, for others I’m sure you’ll resonate right away. For me it’s just about releasing the pressure I put on myself to be this or that. The pressure to be someone I’m not, perform at someone else’s level, or to work myself into a frenzy because I FEEL that I’m not good enough. Again that I, me, I FEEL I’m not good enough. Never once in my life has anyone every flat out told me I’m not good enough. It was crossed wired, mixed messages or some bullshit subconscious label that I gave myself.

The brain is a very powerful tool and we do not really know how to use it. During our lifetime, we learn. I haven’t felt this good mentally in a long time. For those of you that know me well (like, the 5 of you) you know that I have had a really hard time sleeping over the past few months… like 9 months. It started last summer. It has been awful. However, with out much thought this past week I’ve gotten to sleep at reasonable times. I haven’t been laying awake for hours and hours and hours. It’s like something clicked.

I’ve got a lot of things in my head. Plans, ideas, hopes, dreams and these are what had been missing for a while. They aren’t new plans, ideas, hopes and dreams either, these are ones that I’ve had for a while but the light went out. There was nothing left. This definitely could have been a depression, it was a little bit of everything over the past year but at least there is light once again.

I don’t think you can force the light. I don’t think you can sit at home, reading my blog, and get yourself out of a rut, change your life forever, be different, heal the wounds or whatever it is. Maybe this is just a reminder to those in the darkness that the light is there. It’s not gone forever, it’s just hidden, it’ll shine brightly again. For others, it may take a rekindling. I think this past year broke me down to my absolute bottom (which was actually in August of last year – the mental breakdown blog) and it’s taken this much longer to realize it and stand back on my feet.

One of my biggest fears in Texas is that I’ll roll over in bed and there will be a snake next to me. I don’t know why, but I’ve been unfairly worried about snakes. Then I realized a few nights ago that maybe that is my spirit animal right now. It’s the shedding I’ve been waiting and working for. I mean, also maybe not. It could just be an irrational fear that I am manifesting into existence each day I think about it. I freaking hope not.

I don’t know what it is about these challenges because regardless of what the challenge is, it invokes this mental change where I think about things differently. I am not quite sure but I do love them. I love a good shake up. For the first time… in a looooong time… I’m excited for work tomorrow.

To celebrate, here’s a picture of the potato I had with lunch.

He was a good potato.

Same stuff today – bacon and eggs, chicken and potato with carrots, celery and cashew butter and a bacon-egg-potato-scramble for dinner because it’s so good and I waited to cook dinner late and because I need to go to the grocery store.

I’m thinking of making a meat loaf – what would be a good filler so that it’s not all meat? I wonder if I could use cauliflower or broccoli rice or even my beloved potatoes.

Ok, gotta go to bed.

*Majestical – as heard in the feature film HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE, streaming on Netflix. Written and directed by Taika Waititi. This movie is seriously heart warming and I’ve said it to anyone who will listen – it’s a great movie to watch when you need that bump of joy and some laughs by a wonderful cast!

4 thoughts on “Day 3. The opportunity to fail.

  1. how about just adding a bunch of veggies – carrots, peppers, onion, celery – and use egg for binder? That will cut down on the meat content and up the fiber? So impressed by you, as always, Duffy!

  2. What if you could sustain the “thinking differently” until always thinking about things from multiple perspectives was the norm? If you publish every day, we will read every day! Even if the challenge is a minute change in your life that you don’t announce to us. We just want to know how/what you’re doing and what you have to say about it. Keep up the good work!!

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