It’s been a hot minute and I apologize, but to say that life has gotten in the way is an understatement. Classes are still classes and people are still people, but I don’t think I am the same.
In a good way.
I mean, I know I’ve said it a thousand times before, but I’ve grown up. Things that got me tripped up last year, just…don’t anymore. But I don’t want to say that I wish I had done anything differently. There’s a part of being in college that requires you to screw up a few times. Maybe it’s the whole idea that you’re becoming a part of the “real world” or just a fact that you finally made it out of the crazy ass teenage years. Regardless, you have to mess up. At least once.
When I was taking Disney Heritage during the DCP, there was a quote that Walt said that has stuck with me like nothing else; probably more because it reigns so true with me in particular.
“I think it’s important to have a good hard failure when you’re young. I learned a lot out of that. Because it makes you kind of aware of what can happen to you. Because of it I’ve never had any fear in my whole life when we’ve been near collapse and all of that. I’ve never been afraid. I’ve never had the feeling I couldn’t walk out and get a job doing something.”
I had a good hard failure last year. And I am going to be the first one to admit that. My first semester wasn’t awful, but you start looking at where I was this time last year….and I was a wreck. (Didn’t think so at the time, but they never do). My friends and my family noticed it first, and I’d spew them the whole “Yeah, I’ll stop doing it.” stuff just to get them off my back. And would go back into the same rut that I had made myself.
I count that as a failure.
Because I failed in more than one way. I failed in my classes. I failed in relationships. I failed in honesty to others. I failed my family, and most of all, I failed myself.
It took me a long time to really realize how much I had really screwed myself over. The first time I really encountered it was when I had already moved down to Orlando. I was, in the first time of my life, completely on my own. But I wasn’t completely free. DCP is very policy oriented and strictly enforces them. I am someone who doesn’t want to have to call my parents saying I got kicked out of Disney. So everything I had done prior to living there – I had to completely change.
Suddenly I had a full time job. I had a limited supply of money that I had to keep up. I had an apartment to keep up. I had relationships to maintain. I had so many constricting policies to maintain. I couldn’t go and party until four in the morning. I couldn’t treat people like they were a fleeting passerby. I’d go home. It was about the second week of being in Orlando that I felt the shift. Things changed. I started looking after what I was eating, how my apartment looked, how I was approaching work, and who I needed to surround myself with versus who was going to be toxic to my experience, and therefore needed to let go.
I was 19 years old. The farthest I had been away from my family on my own was two hours for church camp. I hadn’t had to pay for rent before. I hadn’t had to go out and get my own groceries – or enough groceries to survive on. I was put in the place where everything was overpriced – but they were all things that I wanted. But surviving was my first priority…and buying those things wasn’t possible. It was a lot of pacing myself and reasoning with things I wanted vs. things I needed. It’s hard! It’s not something I had had a lot of practice with, and it freaked me out.
But I learned quickly. I taught myself that I could not afford to fail.
So I didn’t.
I will admit that I did fail a bit in doing the DCP. There are many things that I would have changed, and wished I had realized that I did before I had left. But I needed that failure to grow.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that people today are so concerned about being successful that they forget that they are human. it’s okay to fail. It’s necessary to fail. Because in the end, that failure teaches you and gives you support the next time that things go wrong.