There are few things that I remember from my dad during my childhood. My dad was usually working 12 hr days and not really a kid kind of person anyway. One of the lessons he taught me was that if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right. I'm sure this was meant to inspire me, to push me to do better and to complete what I was doing to the best of my ability.
Instead, it paralyzed me.
There is nothing I do that I don't think about whether or not I can do it "right." I worry about being perfect. I worry about failing. I worry about what will my parents say. I am 42 years old and I still can't get out of bed in the morning without wondering if somehow I have failed and my parents will point that out.
This fear is so pervasive that I have a pile of wooden furniture rotting in the backyard, wasting away to nothing because I am so paralyzed that I cannot even begin to do something productive with it. What if I mess it up? What if I finish it and nobody wants to buy it? What if it sits there staring at me like one great big reminder that I didn't do it well enough or right enough? What if...What if...What if?????
I have a long list of failures and they haunt me each and every day.
My biggest regret however is that I have passed this onto my son. Feeling like a failure in life is perhaps that saddest thing there is. Feeling like there is no reason for anyone to love you because you have not earned it. Feeling like it won't matter if you're not around because you don't ever do anything right anyway.
With so many things in my life I am trying to deal with now, half way through life and I wish for him to deal with NOW, when he has so much of his life to live and enjoy without the haunting words whispering in the back of his mind.
I want to be able to fail and enjoy it. I want to be able to choose a path and not have it go right. I want to be able to screw up so badly that there is nothing left but a pile of burning ash that I can look at, pull myself up by my boot straps, and walk away dusting ashes off my feet as I go. I want to try. I want to play. I want to fail. I want to fail. I want, I want, I want to absolutely, positively, disastrously, epically, monstrously FAIL, walk away and be OK.
Watch me, here I go.