Failing Up

April 25, 2018

Yesterday I had a dream come true while simultaneously experiencing extreme disappointment.   While sitting outside enjoying working in my backyard, in a space I had envisioned for nearly a decade, I received news that I had failed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I’m going to remain vague for a number of reasons, but I was striving to do a “thing.”  Let’s call it Bananas (because Apple is already taken).  Bananas was an accumulation of many of my talents and interests and something I really wanted to get involved in.  Bananas serendipitously appeared in my path – the aligning with the stars, or so it seemed.

Before the Bananas thing, I did my homework and prepared well.  I was not ‘Last Minute Levin’ for this one.  And, of course, I asked my wonderful support network for good vibes because I believe in the power of positive thinking and collective karma.  I was confident and even wore my sexy underwear. Don’t worry, this is a tip from Everyone Has Sh*t: Unsolicited Advice for Being Human, no one but me actually saw this underwear.

I was in full-on manifestation mode even going so far as to place a bottle of bubbly in the fridge to celebrate.

Failure was not an option.

And yet, I failed.  Bananas is a no-go.

So here I sat at my dream-come-true patio table, had a good cry and some Thai food with my friend Karen who came to console me.

Boo-freaking-hoo JLev.

Listen, I am not asking for sympathy here.   Life is not always fair.  That’s the point.  Everyone has shit.  The magic is how we deal with that shit and rise on the other side.

During tough times, you realize who your friends are. In this case, I’ve felt incredible support from people who truly believe in me and who genuinely care.  That is empowering.  Having friends who show up with Thai food and a brown bag full of rum beats Bananas any day of the week.

OK, but Bananas was a big deal and it sucks.   Yes, yes, the universe has a different course for me and this wasn’t meant to be.  I get it.  I still have to deal with failure.

How to Fail Up

“It’s not you, it’s them.”    No, it’s totally me.  And that is OK.  So often we deflect rejection to other people instead of celebrating who we are.   I’m not everyone’s “cuppa tea.”   Neither are you.   That’s OK.   The trick is figuring out when you need to improve and when you just need to own your shit.

“You know your shit” vs “you know you’re shit”   The grammarians will love this one.   When approaching Bananas, a friend to me said – “you know your shit.”   When facing failure, it’s hard to not think the latter applies.   Around 2 am last night when I was obsessing about where I went wrong I saw a text from a friend who was kicking around his own business challenge.  I immediately gave him solid advice and a homework assignment which reminded me that I did, in fact, know my shit.  Then I took a chill pill and went back to bed.

Do I even like Bananas?   This is a big one.   Bananas is symbolic, not just in this post, but in the grander scheme of things.  Why did Bananas matter so much?  Was it timing?  What made it different from all of the other “things” that I work on in my life.      This is the one that has me on a path of discovery.  It’s pushing me forward to new things.  It’s making me reexamine what I want and why I want it.  Bananas is a catalyst for change.

Everything that happens to us in the course of our lives teaches us a lesson.  Nothing comes easy to anyone and if it seems that someone’s life is a piece of cake with buttercream frosting you can be certain that someone is getting a bellyache later from eating too much of that cake.  It’s just not that simple.  Everyone has shit.

Today, I am taking my shit and failing up.   There is another adventure that awaits me and I have no idea what it is.  But that is OK because I am willing to try again.  Are you?

P.S.  I’m still going to drink the bubbly.