The Bright Side of Failure
Failure has the ability to crush us or mold us into the person we are meant to become. It is up for us to choose which outcome we let happen. When I was 14, I tried out for the high school volleyball team. I had never played before outside of YMCA, so it was a leap to try to make it. I practiced for months coming up to the tryouts, I was determined to make the team. All the cool girls were volleyball players and I thought if I could get in with them, I would totally change my nerd status in high school. After a week long tryout, there were only two girls remaining. It was me (5’6”) and a very tall girl (5’10”.) Naturally, they picked the girl who was 4” taller than me. I remember crying in the car with my mom. I so wanted to make the volleyball team because the volleyball girls were popular and cool. I was neither of those- I rode horses and was in all AP classes.
A few years later, I decided I wanted to be a fashion model. One of my best friends growing up was on a very popular television program and she told me I totally have what it takes to model. With a semi-famous person believing in me, I decided to give it a shot. My friend Bri took some “headshots” in her backyard and I nervously marched into a bunch of different agencies around Los Angeles. I thought if I could be a model, then maybe I would be accepted at school. I mean models are always popular- right? I was at an open call for Ford Models in Los Angeles when it came down between me and one other girl left in the waiting room. They had dismissed the 30 other people who had showed up hopeful to be signed. The fact that they hadn’t dismissed me yet made it seem like I had a good shot. They called me back and put me up against the measuring tape. Five feet six, it read. They took me back to the modeling agent who said I had a very interesting “look,” but unfortunately I was not 5’7”, which was the minimum required height to be signed. They signed the other girl because she was 3” taller than me. I was devastated.
It almost hurts more when you come SO CLOSE to making it and just miss the mark. Not only do you just miss the mark, but you miss it by something you can’t control. Needless to say, I probably could’ve trained harder for the volleyball tryouts or gone to a more commercial modeling agency, but I didn’t want to just be average at anything. I wanted to be the girl who easily made the volleyball team and who effortlessly got signed to be a model. The fact that I quickly gave up both of these dreams shows me that I didn’t want them for the right reasons. I wanted them to impress people, to improve my social standing. I truly believe that intentions matter most. You won’t be able to persevere through failure if you aren’t being true to yourself. If you are living your life for other people, your failure will seem insurmountable. When we are heart centered, living our life out of our true calling and purpose, failure may find us, but it will look more like a small hill to climb rather than Mt. Everest.