This year I’m most thankful for my Colossal Failure.
Yes, of course I’m grateful for healthy kids, friends, yadda yadda yadda. But just today I learned that the project I’ve been working on for the past 11 months and dreaming about since the third grade is just another unanswered email.
Of course I had that initial disappointment, that sense of loss for the Colossal Failure, that big break that would’ve catapulted my professional and personal dreams forward at warp speed. But that was not the gift I received this Thanksgiving week.
This year’s greatest gift is rejection. Not even rejection, really, but a complete lack of acknowledgement that my dream even matters or that my talent exists.
No, I’m not being sarcastic for once. The upside of all this is my challenge to find the upside in all of this. It’s easy to get to a place of gratitude and joy when things are going the way I want them to. But when I can suck it up over the fact that I suck, when I can flex my gratitude muscle after an emotional sucker-punch, then I know I’m really, finally starting to get it.
Every day I preach to my kids that happiness is a choice, that we’re the luckiest people we know, that if they don’t like the way they feel, they can change their minds so they feel good again. All day I’ve been running those tapes through my head and holding myself back from my self-help book shelf and leftover Halloween candy.
I haven’t even told anyone about the Colossal Failure. The simple fact that I’m not indulging my ego in a pity-party is huge. I have a phone full of fabulous girlfriends (yes, thankful for them, too) who’d do their best to raise my spirits with encouraging words and love. I appreciate the fact that I can fall back on that.
But instead I’m turning inward. I’m looking to myself to make it all better, because when it comes down to it, I’m the only one who can.
So I’m profoundly grateful for this shattered dream. It’s a chance to really think about who I want to be when I grow up, what matters most to me and model all that for my kids.
What a gift. Thank you.