Strange Gifts – Making Mistakes

My posts are full of mistakes.

I’m not just talking about typos, grammatical errors, and writing faux pas.

I’m not just talking about social media shouldn’ts, errors in blogging etiquette, and online community cock-ups.

I’m not just talking about getting my facts in a twist, misinformation, contradiction, memory blips, blind spots, and being batshit.

I’m not just talking about social don’ts, swearing, rudeness, sarcasm, bluntness, bullshit, hypocrisy, saying the wrong thing, being an arrogant dick, embarrassing myself, and foot in mouth.

And I’m not just talking about mistakes being the prime inspiration for pretty much everything I write, and everything I write is most likely a mistake.

(I’m not using quotes and images today, I’m only using music videos, which is probably a mistake because they’re always getting blocked, but I feel like doing it all in song… don’t worry I’m not going to be the one singing – that’s a mistake I only make in private, it’s one of my favourite mistakes to make, and usually goes along with making the mistake of dancing)

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I have to admit (well… I don’t have to, I don’t have to do anything if I don’t want to, nope not even that, okay maybe that, and that, and…) that whenever someone says to me:

You’ve made a mistake

You’re making a big mistake

You’re about to make a mistake

You’re going to make a mistake if you keep doing what you’re doing the way you’re doing it

I want to laugh… one of those buddha belly laughs, but I can’t do that (well… yes I can, I can do anything I want to do, yes even that, but um nope not that or that or that or…) because then the person being all serious, high and mighty, helpful, constructive critic, saviour, fixer, will think I’m laughing at them, and then this scenario of being put right by a righteous one will turn into a session of trying to put right what went horribly wrong due to my wrongful wrongness of the moment.

Why do I want to laugh?

Is it because I’m a flippant fool, a super freaky chic, a creep, a weirdo, a backwards buffoon, stubbornly stupid, a crazy clown, un povero pazzo pagliaccio…

(this is one of my favourite songs to sing out loud – all Italians are opera singers, yes I know I’m only partly Italiano, I’m Italianetta, ma chi se ne frega)

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Act! While in delirium,
I no longer know what I say,
or what I do!
And yet it’s necessary… make an effort!
Bah! Are you not a man?
You are a clown!

Put on your costume, powder your face.
The people pay, and they want to laugh.
And if Harlequin shall steal your Columbina,
laugh, clown, so the crowd will cheer!
Turn your distress and tears into jest,
your pain and sobbing into a funny face – Ah!

Laugh, clown,
at your broken love!
Laugh at the grief that poisons your heart!

translated lyrics via Wiki

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Is it because being told:

You’ve made a mistake

You’re making a big mistake

You’re about to make a mistake

You’re going to make a mistake if you keep doing what you’re doing the way you’re doing it

tends to make people nervous, anxious, doubt themselves, be terrified of making a dreaded mistake, fearful of regret, remorse, being unable to press undo, delete, rewind, pressing repeat instead, breaking out in a sweat and keep sweating, shivering, shaking until there’s nothing left of them but a puddle on the ground which wants a hole to open up and swallow them so they can retreat from the world in which they mistakenly ended up…

but it isn’t that kind of a laugh which I want to laugh.

It’s not a thank you for stating the obvious, a well done you for telling me what I already know, a gee what would I do without you watching over me to point out what an idiot I am, fly away home as while you were busy sticking your nose into my business your house caught on fire and your children are gone ladybird, kind of laugh.

I don’t want to laugh at those kindly trying to guide me out of danger, giving me the benefit of their experience of having made mistakes themselves and having learned valuable lessons from their mistaken experiences which they want to pass on, to stop me from having the same experience and thus learning from it, they are alchemists turning a turd into a gold nugget, wise woe men spreading a little happiness…

 

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All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places
Worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere
Going nowhere

And their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression
No expression
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow
No tomorrow

And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you
‘Cause I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it’s a very very
Mad world
Mad world
Mad world
Mad world

Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy birthday
Happy birthday
Made to feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen
Sit and listen

Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me
No one knew me
Hello, teacher, tell me what’s my lesson?
Look right through me
Look right through me

And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you
‘Cause I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it’s a very very
Mad world
Mad world
Mad world
Mad world

And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you
‘Cause I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it’s a very very
Mad world
Mad world
Halargian world
Mad world

lyrics via AZlyrics

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Laughing at people is not a mistake I like to make. I don’t really like laughing at comedians… I prefer to laugh with them, but not when laughing with them means laughing at someone else.

I have made that mistake, have laughed at people. I was taught to make that mistake by those who laughed at me and that made me feel powerless, powerlessness makes you want to never feel that way again, makes you want to feel powerful, and since those who laughed at me seemed to have power… I made the mistake of concluding that laughing at people is how you become powerful.

But it’s not.

Those who laugh at people are even more powerless than those who are being laughed at. That’s what I learned from making that mistake, more than once.

Being shunned says more about those doing the shunning than it does about those being shunned, but it also tells you about them too. When you shun you are projecting and transferring your own inner darkness onto others… making it very visible. When you are shunned you face your own darkness as it rises up from within to meet with the darkness of those doing the shunning.

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A sunbeam in a blue sky, in a sky as blue as the sea, is not enough
Because I carry the pain that rises and rises
It stops on my knees that are trembling and I know why
 
And it does not stop the rush, it does not want to stop
Because it is a pain that rises and rises and hurts
Now it is in my stomach, liver, I vomit, I pretend, but it is there
 
And when the night arrives and I remain alone with myself
My mind goes away and walks around in search of your “whys”
Neither the winners nor the losers come out half defeated
Life can separate us, love will go on
 
My stomach has resisted even if it does not want to eat
But there is the pain that rises and rises and hurts
It arrives at my heart, it beats more strongly in me
 
Continuing in its rush, it takes what remains
And in a moment it explodes and my head is pounding
It would want an answer but in the end the answer is not there
 
The salt pours from my eyes, where is the sun now?
While the pain on the sheet is seated here next to me
 
The words in the air are half words
But these were already written and the time will not pass
 
And when the night arrives and I am alone with myself
My mind goes away and walks around in search of your “whys”
Neither the winners nor the losers come out half defeated
Life can separate us, love will go on
 
And when the night arrives and I am alone with myself
My mind goes away and walks around in search of your “whys”
Neither the winners nor the losers come out half defeated
Life can separate us, life will go on
Will go on
Will go on
 

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How people (including you) react when you make a mistake can be a very powerful teacher. Teaching so many valuable lessons, imparting knowledge which may become wisdom in time…

making mistakes guides us in life…

along this road of being human…

it may be the hard way, may feel like the road less traveled, but is it?

I’ve made the mistake of telling people:

You’ve made a mistake

You’re making a big mistake

You’re about to make a mistake

You’re going to make a mistake if you keep doing what you’re doing the way you’re doing it

It’s hard to watch people making mistakes, heading towards the precipice, falling, hurting, crying out in pain… a painful cry which reminds you of yours, suffering recognising suffering, makes it come out to help… but sometimes help is a hindrance, sometimes doing the right thing is the wrong thing, sometimes not making a mistake is the mistake, sometimes you only know in hindsight what something is or is not…

who someone is or is not…

if a mistake is really a mistake.

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Cover me when I run
Cover me through the fire
Something knocked me out’ the trees
Now I’m on my knees
Cover me, darling please
Monkey, monkey, monkey
Don’t you know when you’re going to shock the monkey

Fox the fox
Rat on the rat
You can ape the ape
I know about that
There is one thing you must be sure of
I can’t take any more
Darling, don’t you monkey with the monkey
Monkey, monkey, monkey
Don’t you know you’re going to shock the monkey

Wheels keep turning
Something’s burning
Don’t like it but I guess I’m learning

Shock! – watch the monkey get hurt, monkey

Cover me, when I sleep
Cover me, when I breathe
You throw your pearls before the swine
Make the monkey blind
Cover me, darling please
Monkey, monkey, monkey
Don’t you know you’re going to shock the monkey

Too much at stake
Ground beneath me shake
And the news is breaking

Shock! – watch the monkey get hurt, monkey

Shock the monkey
Shock the monkey
Shock the monkey to life

lyrics via Genius

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I want to laugh because:

I’ve made a mistake

I’m making a big mistake

I’m about to make a mistake

I’m going to make a mistake if I keep doing what I’m doing the way I’m doing it

and nothing can stop me (well, almost nothing, maybe a bit more than almost nothing, okay there’s quite a lot of somethings which can stop me…) and no one can stop me (well, there is me, maybe I can stop me, and there’s him over there, he’s been known to stop me, and… okay there are quite a few people who can stop me…) from keeping on keeping on making mistakes.

Which may be a mistake

but mistakes shock me to life.

One of the biggest mistakes I have made, which eventually became one of my favourite mistakes because of the lesson I learned from it, from its still stinging sting, is when I was so petrified of making mistakes that I tried to stop making them, and in trying to stop making mistakes I made a rather gargantuan one – listened to other people over listening to myself. I did things their way instead of mine and ending up making a costly mistake which (and this is the real stinger) I wouldn’t have made had I done things my way.

The starkness of seeing the fork in the road where I had stopped for a long time to convince myself that my way was the mistake, a way full of error which would lead to a terrible mistake, and then sell myself on the idealistic ideal idea that their way was the perfect route to Nirvana, to Shangri-la, a place where no mistakes or errors existed.

The sharpness of knowing that had I gone my way, a big mistake would have been avoided, wouldn’t have happened.

The burden of the but… but I didn’t go my way, I went the other way and… I knew it was a mistake to do that! That’s the worst part – I knew it was a mistake!

But everyone told me that my way was wrong and their way was right and I…

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(the apology in the song above is for myself, no one else was hurt because of my mistake, which is partly why it could become one of my favourite big mistakes, other than their pride being dented because their way turned out to be the mistake, it led to a big loss when they were certain it would lead to a big win, and they mourned the loss of their win big dream, then went on to chase another win big dream following an identical route as before)

It’s okay to listen to other people, take on board what they are saying, ask for their advice, benefit from their experience, hear them out when they’re sharing an opinion, giving you constructive criticism, advising you on life, as people have collected lots of valuable information.

However those people aren’t you, they aren’t living your life, they won’t suffer the consequences of your decisions, actions… well, they might, which is why listening to them may be a good idea, but then again it could also be why listening to them is a bad idea.

As my father used to say – if your name is on the painting, your name is the only one people will remember when something goes wrong. It doesn’t matter if it is a gallery owner who screwed a collector over the price, or an art critic who hates you for not needing them to make you and decides to devalue your work with a smear campaign, or if it’s a forger who faked one of your paintings and sold someone a worthless dud, and you, the artist, had nothing to do with it, had no control of what happened to your work once it left your studio, or over your own popularity which made a someone hate you and ruin your reputation or copy your work and signature. All anyone will remember is your name, and they’ll blame you for their bad experience, your name will become mud.

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I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees
I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees
Asked the Lord above “have mercy, now save poor Bob, if you please”
Ooh, standin’ at the crossroad, tried to flag a ride
Ooh-ee, I tried to flag a ride
Didn’t nobody seem to know me, babe, everybody pass me by
Standin’ at the crossroad, baby, risin’ sun goin’ down
Standin’ at the crossroad, baby, eee-eee, risin’ sun goin’ down
I believe to my soul, now, poor Bob is sinkin’ down
You can run, you can run, tell my friend Willie Brown
You can run, you can run, tell my friend Willie Brown
That I got the crossroad blues this mornin’, Lord, babe, I’m sinkin’ down
And I went to the crossroad, mama, I looked east and west
I went to the crossroad, baby, I looked East and West
Lord, I didn’t have no sweet woman, ooh well, babe, in my distress
lyrics via Google

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I will keep making mistakes

I am a mistake-making prodigy… or do I mean progeny…

if it pains you and you’re not a masochist, then I would advise you to look away, avert your eyes, go somewhere else…

if you’re a schadenfreudeist you might want to stick around…

if you’re an I-told-you-so-ist feel free to come back later for the buzz of letting me know you warned me but I just didn’t listen, who’s sorry now, but be warned that that could be a mistake

and maybe…

if you return after the mess has been cleared up, I’ll have cookies and tea in the form of some sort of crazy little wisdom to share thanks to what I learned while making my umpteenillionth mistake.

I don’t like making the same mistake more than once, I like to diversify, change things up, taste the new, add to my collection of mistakes, but sometimes it’s unavoidable, necessary, going around in circles is a cycle ride up a steep spiral.

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And now it’s over to you…

Do you have the strange gift of making mistakes?

If yes, do you have any crazy little wisdom cookies to share?

If no, do you ever feel like you’re missing out on the experience… I realise it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, and that some people just can’t help themselves when it comes to not making mistakes!

 

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10 thoughts on “Strange Gifts – Making Mistakes

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  1. I have been terrified of making mistakes, sometimes to the point of freezing, of just being so completely confused that I’ve been unable to act. I know that that’s a result of my upbringing. It took me years and years to retrain myself (and a lot of encouragement from my M). I still get terrified sometimes, but I push myself through it, make myself think logically in order to defuse the panic that can set in. I think it’s one of the reasons that I found airplanes so attractive – they operate by a set of physical rules devoid of emotion. The only emotion in an airplane is what you bring to it; you’re completely responsible. Mistakes are a normal part of life and of success, and not a moral failing by a substandard person.

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Totally relate! The paralysis is crippling. It got to the point with me where I couldn’t even decide whether I wanted still or sparkling. The retraining or the deprogramming is hard work, exhausting, but then you get to that day when you’re like – I’m just going to do it and screw it if it’s a mistake, and that’s so liberating!

      It’s intriguing that you chose to learn to fly a plane where making a mistake could actually kill you – that’s a powerful gift you gave to yourself!

      In retrospect I think going through what we went through, helps to eventually balance things out and find the sweet spot.

      Like

      1. It’s funny because I’ve always found airplanes comforting in spite of the fact that they can be very unforgiving. But it’s real, not some manufactured fault designed to make you feel bad. And there’s no judgement. They’re not going to tell you that your clothes are wrong or that you have a big nose (and because of that no one will ever want to date you) or that you’re stupid in math and should never try to do math things. I actually passed first year physics in uni (but I did hit my personal ceiling with that course 🙂 ). A lot of the time it was just plain defiance and rebelliousness that got me through.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I desperately tried not to make mistakes by being “perfect!” Boy was that difficult and….. Impossible. With therapy I finally learned why I wanted to be perfect – to please my mother who, of course, would Never be pleased with anything I did. She’s almost 94 and She still isn’t! Finally, I quit trying to be perfect although occasionally my OCD kicks in and it stirs up that “perfect” gene again. Fortunately, my wonderful husband who has been through all my ups and downs and helped me make these many, many necessary and major changes reminds me when I’m in the OCD mood. So I understand your long desire to not make a mistake. Unfortunately, I have made a couple of mistakes for which I will pay till the day I die. Nothing can be done to change these mistakes, short of murder which I am not inclined to do at this time. So make your mistakes and I will make mine but now I try harder to think things through and weigh options before making a decision, unless of course my Aries impulsiveness hits and then all bets are off! But, I can now admit that I made the mistake and apologize without feeling like a really terrible person. No, I know that everyone makes mistakes and hopefully I will learn from this one and not make it again. But if by chance I do, I will again apologize and try even harder not to make it again. It feels so much better to know that I DO NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT!!!!!! So don’t worry about your mistakes or about laughing at someone who is telling you what you’re about to do is a mistake, or whatever you do is a mistake. If you believe it is what is best for you, you can simply thank them for their opinion and do what you set out to do. I now say, “I’ll consider that,” and sometimes, depending on who made the comment, add “thank you.” Then, I feel I have finally overcome my need to be perfect and/or to please everyone but myself. Of course, I’m still working on doing things I like mainly because most of the time I really don’t know what I like, want, or whatever because I have no practice at it. Happily, I can learn. Take care and keep writing, I do enjoy your posts. Francine

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Yes, I also found my terror of making mistakes, and the urge to be perfect led right back to my mother. My mother was terrified of making mistakes, and desperately longed to be perfect. She spent tons of energy and effort being Madam Perfect. And of course since she was a narcissist and I was her child, I was an extension of her, and if I was perfect and never made a mistake that = she was perfect and never made a mistake. If I was imperfect and made a mistake it = I was making her perfect and mistake-less self look bad.

      As a child at school, I remember being very OCD about writing my name and the date on an assignment. The amount of pieces of paper I wasted because a number looked wrong, a letter was a bit wonky, the name didn’t look right compared to the date. That used to sometimes take so much time that I wouldn’t have much left to actually do the assignment (which was probably a good thing or I’d have had to start again after every typo – I did do that on occasion).

      I do sometimes still get anxious and upset when I’ve made a mistake, and have that pressing need to cover it up, but then I remind myself that’s not me anymore, it wasn’t me to begin with it was what I became thanks to my mother and others who pass their mess on to unsuspecting kids, and once you get caught being the box into which others discard their problems… it takes time to rewrite that assignment in a way which is logical.

      Finding what we like to do can be difficult for children of narcissists for several reasons, one of which is that we may have hidden what we like somewhere where our narcissist parents couldn’t find it, and to make sure they couldn’t find it we had to hide it from ourselves too otherwise we might tell them, share it, reveal it and then it would be crushed. When I looked for mine I couldn’t find it, I stumbled upon it accidentally while doing something else, a something else which I didn’t want to do because I told myself it would be a mistake, but I did it anyway.

      I like blogging 🙂

      Take care of yourself, and be gentle with yourself ❤

      Like

  3. I’ve made plenty of mistakes. I used to (sometimes still do lol) ruminate on them til the point where I’m in tears. But I’m learning to deal with them by using them as learning tools. I pray and feel at peace for my past and current transgressions because my faith teaches me that my transgressions don’t define me is what gets me through. I would be so consumed with not making mistakes that when I did, I felt like a failure. No more!!

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      I used to ruminate myself into an agonising hole when it came to mistakes… being cornered isn’t always what it seems to be… and ruminating can also get you out of that agonising hole, as you see that maybe the mistake wasn’t a mistake at all, not in the conventional sense of it.

      Faith is great, it’s why it exists – it’s there to remind us that there is more to the less we’re focusing upon, and that more isn’t more of the less.

      Trust in what helps you, it guides you, and lets you know that a certain way is your way.

      No one is a failure… that’s just an illusion. Maya 🙂

      Like

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