It is the start of a brand new year and what better topic to talk about than starting over.
Today, I want to talk about how very okay it is to start over again. If by chance you are like me—a bit of a control freak (okay, total control freak), a little OCD (okay, very OCD), and just a tad bit of a perfectionist (okay, total perfectionist. I would like to say that in my defense I’ve been a teacher for a really long time and that does things to your sanity, okay?)—then starting over may be very daunting, very scary.
But it most certainly doesn’t have to be. As a matter of fact, starting over can be a blessing. Let me begin by telling you a story.
About three years ago, I had to start over big time. Due to unfortunate circumstances, I walked out of a situation that left me with practically no money to my name. As a result, I had to pack my bags, kiss my old apartment goodbye (wasn’t that nice anyway), and move back with my parents. Most people are lucky and get the basement. Me? I got the little bro’s old bedroom, which was small. Like Harry Potter’s closet/bedroom small. Holy Gods of Earthia, I don’t know how such itsy bitsy tiny room could be passed off as a bedroom. (You know, now that I think about it, it might have been around this time that I lost a large portion of my marbles. Oh, for sure. Tiny rooms will drive anyone mad).
This was worst case scenario coming true for me. (Just so that we’re clear, my parents are awesome. I love them to pieces. And I know for sure they love me to pieces too. But tiny room, people. Tiny room. Oh, I shudder at the mere memory). What was more, I had to sell a large portion of my precious furniture, pack away precious belongings for an indeterminate amount of time, and store most of those precious belongings in a storage room that had a funky smell and peeling ceilings. It was tragic.
But worst yet, I had to move back in with mom and dad. Again, mom and dad are awesome. It wasn’t moving in with them that shook me to my core; it was the fact that moving back in with them meant I hit rock bottom. I couldn’t make it on my own and had to start all over again.
That leaves a profound mark on the soul.
For many of us, starting over usually means that we failed at whatever we were trying to accomplish, and as a result need to start over again. I certainly viewed my crash to rock bottom as a major failure. And it can be crippling. It’s one thing to have to take a different route and a whole other monster to start from square one.
The good news is that it’s not as bad as we think. For a very long time I walked around like a moping zombie, lamenting at my failure in life, wondering where did it all go wrong. If I had paused and taken a breath, I would have realized much sooner what a blessing my failure had actually been.
Failure does a strange thing to us. Aside from shooting down all our hopes and dreams, it also changes our perspective. Quite dramatically. And sometimes that is exactly the kind of change we need to succeed. We may need to start all over again as a result, but I can assure you that the second time around is never the same as the first time. Better yet: you know what mistakes not to make.
Thus, starting over again doesn’t have to mean that we failed. It can very well mean that we tried. Period. And to have tried is always better than to have never tried at all.
I’m very happy to say that I’m back on my feet once again. I live in my very own house now, complete with a very large bedroom, a library (technically a dining room-turned-library, but who needs a dining room anyway, amirite?), and an art room. Enough space to keep from losing all my marbles (thank the heavens).
And in the end, starting over wasn’t nearly as bad as I had first thought it to be. As a matter of fact, it turned out to be the best darn thing that ever happened to me.
Do you have a failure-turned-to-success story? You can post your stories down below.
I have to say, there is nothing more inspiring than reading success stories riddled with failure. Not that I wish failure on anyone. But such stories show that even the best of us crashed and burned before they got right back up and continued onward to their success. It certainly inspires us to do the very same.
As we start the new year, I of course wish all of you success in whatever endeavors you pursue. But if you happen fail and find that you need to start all over again, let me assure you that it will be okay. I encourage you to keep moving forward and to keep putting your best foot forward, no matter what.
Most importantly: never give up.
Happy New Year.