To Fail Is Divine

I’m not making any NY resolutions this year because I’m still working on mine from last year (I am actually slightly less fat going in 2018, thanks for asking), so I’ll thrown my energies in a one final blog for 2017. This blog was inspired by the following tweets

https://twitter.com/sudosev/status/947582828375572480

https://twitter.com/J0hnnyXm4s/status/947662915359924230

https://twitter.com/georgiaweidman/status/947137882245992448

So, before the liquor sets in and I go into a garlic shrimp induced food coma, I’ll pontificate on why this year was full of suck and fail and yet I’m still sitting here happy as can be.

I’d wager that on January 1st, 2017, those of you who made resolutions inevitably heard from friends and family how pointless those were and doomed to fail. Blah blah blah. While I didn’t accomplish any of mine, they didn’t have a 12-month time clock. I started and that was enough. And, man, did I fail over and over and over again this year. But ya know why I’m happy right now? Because I didn’t fail just once. The fact I failed multiple times was because I kept trying over and over. Failing != giving up.

I lost some weight, put it all back on at least 4 times this year, but I’m still ending it 20lbs lighter because I didn’t throw in the towel. Eventually, late into the year, I found a trainer and regimen that worked. I’m not where I wanted to be in terms of success but I’m exactly where I wanted to be in terms of failure because I haven’t.

On to projects. Some of you know I started @InfoSanityOrg this year. I started it because I was battling my own depression and losing miserably. However, I didn’t want it to be for naught so I started a place for other hackers to go and talk it out. Sometimes I kept up with it, mostly it was my amazing admin team that carried the weight for me. The thing about depression is you don’t feel like doing any goddamn thing while you’re in the down swing. Hard to take care of others when you’re just trying to keep yourself alive. But I kept going. Every time I spent days not wanting to get out of bed, turning away from the things that used to make me happy, I waited it out until I was “better” and planned for next time. I never gave up.

That brings us to the thing that pays us. What can make us all so pescimistic and curmudgeonly. I spent 11 months of the year somewhere I didn’t belong, sacrificing my own sanity because I had been convinced the reason I was unhappy was because I was less. If I just “got good” everything would turn around. Jesus, let me tell how much bullshit that was. I spent 2017 letting people tell me I wasn’t worth it. That the problem was my own motivation, following people who I thought had my best interests at heart. I sold myself out and it only made things worse. Change was hard, it was horrifying and I almost didn’t take the leap but I can’t tell you how much better off I am tonight in every.single.way because I finally came around to what my best friends were saying.

On that same note, I had an epiphany on my own imposter syndrome and it was a game changer. I took a look around at the friends I’ve made here. This whole thing about not believing I was good enough or smart enough was in my own head. I’m surrounded by some of the brightest, warmest and most wonderful people this industry has to offer. The way I see it, when I sell myself short, I’m questioning their judgment. I’m disrespecting the opinions of these marvelous people. So, I started to believe them. I started to honor their faith in me by honoring my own accomplishments and that was made all the difference.

Anyway, the hour is late. The moral of all this is simple in its complexity. In your failures, there is success. I didn’t accomplish any of these wonderful things in 2017 without biting the curb a multitude of times….HARD. As long as you keep going, as long as you pick yourself up and just.keep.trying you will never fail. It’s impossible. Lean on your friends, lean on your experience, shit if you need someone in a pinch just lean on me. I’ve been there, I’m still there, I’ll be there again. As long as we’re there together, we’ll find a find a way forward.

From the bottom of my heart, I love you all. I wish you a very happy new year and I can’t wait to see you at the next con.

-r