es·say | \ e-ˈsā , ə-ˈsā, ˈe-ˌsā \
1: to make an often tentative or experimental effort to perform : Try
2: to put to a test
Merriam Webster’s dictionary
As I begin my twenty-ninth year, I find myself as many people often do, thinking about the things I’ve accomplished so far in my life, as well as the things I still want to do. In my brain’s attempt to I guess strike a balance, I’m also spending a lot of time thinking about the things I’ve tried and failed to do and the things I never tried at all. But as I look back at things that my gut reaction would be to describe as failures, I realize they’re more than anything a list of experiences I’ve been able to learn from and in some cases, things I might revisit and take another crack at it. In these cases, along with my “successes”, what’s important is an attempt was made. I tried.
I want to make a conscious decision in the coming year to give more credit to my attempts. Whatever their aim, no matter the end result, I want to be able to remember I made an effort. Too often I get wrapped up in worrying about how I’m going to mess something up or how it’s going to go wrong regardless of what I do. In that way I talk myself out of acting at all and then reason at least I didn’t fail. I need to stop cheating myself out of these opportunities to succeed.
That’s not to say just because I’m trying means I’ll become an overnight success and win at life. That’s extremely highly unlikely. But that’s also ok. Because every single thing doesn’t have to work. I don’t have to succeed all the time, but I definitely won’t if I don’t even give myself the option, if I don’t try.
So that’s my goal for the next year. I’m going to make an attempt. I’m going to try. And then I’m going to try again and again. Then I’ll try something else, or six different somethings. Eventually I’ll have a whole new list of things I tried and probably, a whole new list of failures.
Regardless, what’s important will be the attempt, the effort, the decision to say, this is a thing I’m doing today. And not to lower the bar too much, but I really am talking about anything. It could be rectifying an atrocious sleep schedule. It could be setting a daily writing goal. It might even be actively thinking something nice about myself (I’ll be sure to follow up and let you know how that one goes).
Again though, the point in all of this is the attempt. Succeed or fail, I want to start looking at my life as a series of attempts, whether they be fantastic flops or spectacular victories. I also want to start showing myself some grace within the trying. No attempt is too small, same for a victory. And I do plan to start small.
Then if, no when I fail at something, it’s still an attempt. I get to try again tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, all the tomorrows I need. I can take my time. I can be gentle with myself. I can try.