I have always thought of myself as being mistake prone. Talented, but prone to mistakes. Smart, but prone to mistakes. Athletic, but prone to mistakes. Social, but prone to mistakes.
I remember first having these thoughts in high school when I was playing sports. I could make the most brilliant play one moment, and just give the ball away the next. In basketball, where things move quickly, it's one thing. But in softball, where a big E goes up on the board and everyone stares at you for a while, it is hard.
I've got a lot of big E's in my life.
It was also in high school that I first heard the word ditsy bandied about. As in, "She's so smart, but a bit ditsy."
I did not take that well. I still to this day do not think that I am ditsy. I am just...mistake prone. Prone to making mistakes.
Yesterday's e-mail snafu is a great example. And way too often lately I have found myself saying the wrong thing. Though well-intentioned, the words just don't come out right and I fall on my face. And I hurt people's feelings, or make them jealous, or make them mad. When all I ever wanted to do was make nice. I try too hard.
That sucks. It makes me think mistake prone is really dumb, fucking idiot.
But I got some great advice, by way of some random man, by way of his therapist.
It's called a rainy day letter. At a time when you feel really good about yourself you take a few minutes to sit down and write out all of the things that are best and true about you. You write out all of the compliments you hold close to your heart. You write about why the people who love you love you as much as they do. Go fishing if you have to, but figure out what is so great about you that you have a job, friends, and family.
Then the next time you make a mistake, and you feel like an idiot, and the negative thoughts are crashing over you like white capped waves, you take out your rainy day letter and you remember who you really are.
And you remember that we are all prone to make mistakes. Because we are all human. And maybe you're better off for at least realizing that you've made a mistake in the first place.
I think that is brilliant advice, though it is a little too corny for my normal tastes. Still, I think I'll compose one very soon. My self worth does run quite deep and I know I can fill a letter with plenty of things.
First and foremost on that list would be that I love very deeply.
What would the first thing on your list be?