As I ponder how to approach the current crossroads in my life, which includes milestones such as completing graduate school, moving back to my home state for the first time since high school (yes, I’m “one of those obnoxious Texans”), and breaking into a new industry, I have begun to focus on what fulfillment means for me personally: What gives meaning to my life? When am I happiest? What do I value most? Which hobbies and lines of work lead to late nights and early mornings, all for the sake of passion about the pursuit? Who do I want to be in five and fifteen years, and how will I want to have made a difference? What do I wish I’d done differently in life thus far, and how will I avoid making similar choices in the future?
A Vanderbilt grad, and perfectionist as far back as I can remember (which–in my ripe old age–I no longer necessarily consider a functional approach to life), I previously spent most of my time doing, achieving, leading, overcoming, winning, learning (fast!), persevering, accomplishing, practicing, competing, drinking a whole lot of coffee during an equal number of sleepless nights…and not nearly enough time celebrating my strengths, traveling, discovering new passions, creating and appreciating quiet moments and (gasp!) spare time, or most importantly: failing. On the contrary, I can recall a number of occasions on which my fear of failure prevented me from trying something new, performing something “old” and well within my ability, or enjoying an experience in its own right rather than approaching it as I would an evaluation–and let’s be real: everything was an evaluation.
If there is anything this blog can and should be about at its core, I hope that it will serve to document my journey toward making peace with the inevitability–and importance–of failure as I work toward building a life filled with meaning and purpose. Only through being willing to fall on my face (literally and figuratively), look a little (or a lot) foolish, risk rejection, and be just plain old fashioned bad at something, will I be able to face my fears, explore what life has to offer, and discover more about myself and my potential than I likely even imagine possible at this moment in time. Thank you, dear readers, for virtually embarking on this journey with me. Enjoy the ride, and keep the wine glass handy: things are sure to get a little bumpy along the way!