Permission to fail

I came home from work last night with a slight pressure headache that turned into a full blown migraine in a matter of hours. If you don’t know, my migraines are pretty crippling and I’ve been hospitalized for them once or twice over the years. I throw up, I see halos, smells are heightened and light makes me wish I was dead. I can lose an entire day to pain. That’s what I was worried about, sitting on my bed at 8:30 crying to my partner for help, because I couldn’t lose my whole night to a migraine.

Because I’d promised an author I’d post an interview during her online release party (and kick mine off.) Because I’d made extensive plans and SHOULD have had a whole evening to prep and post. Because I’d put a lot of work into making it easy on myself that evening and it looked like that wasn’t going to be enough. There’s something wrong with my brain or my meat or whatever and sometimes, randomly, it just robs me of the ability to function. But, that’s my life. That’s the reality of the body I inhabit. (And that’s only half of the problem, to be honest.) I have to live with the reality I inhabit. It might be nice if glowing green lights and mint tea fixed my shitty brain meat, but I don’t have any green lights and mint tea makes my head hurt worse, actually. So. I am what I am and I have what I have.

Sometimes my brain hurts, sometimes my body hurts, sometimes I get busy with my day job or the kids or my partner (or Borderlands 2, which I’m still playing apparently. Self care, okay?) Normally that’s pretty much what it is, but when I’ve got things I really want to do, things that I planned for, I stress out about it. Everyone hates being inconvenienced by their body, but for me it’s frequent enough that its hard not to feel like I’m at a loss whenever it happens.

Now, ultimately, I did get the graphic finished and the interview pretty much up in time for the author’s party and to kick off my event feeling good about it. But it could have been worse. The migraine could have persisted. I could have woken this morning still hurting with nothing to show for it. So, I count my blessings that last night was a close call instead of a bad start.

It could have been a bad start. And then what? Scrap the whole thing? Linger on that bad start and half ass my way through the rest of the project? Yeah maybe. I could see myself doing those things. “Well, this is RUINED now, so clearly it isn’t even worth doing.” Last night’s close call won’t be the last. Either for my Extravaganza nor my book nor the days that follow it’s release. Hell, life, right? You fail sometimes. Even the things you’re prepared for and good at, you’re still going to fuck up and fail.

So what do I do? I’m going to fail parts of this thing I’m going to do. I can’t scrap the whole thing when shit goes a little sideways. What can I, or anyone do to protect prepare for the inevitability of failure without giving in to cynicism. I don’t know what you can do, but here’s what I’m going to do for myself.

Dear Mena,
Hey sweetie. I love you. You have my permission to fail. You’re going to fuck up some stuff, and some stuff is going to get fucked up in spite of you. Some parts of this fun project are going to fail. Your book might fail in any number of nasty ways. But. I’m giving you permission to fail and then to keep going.
Your Friend, Mena

Sounds sentimental? Yeah. I think so to, but sometimes you need sentimental to brace yourself for brutality. Reality can be nasty as anything, and utterly out of your control. Or completely in your control but you slip up anyway. If you go into a big project, or event, take some of the pressure off from the get go. Walk into your thing knowing that you can and will fail, and that’s okay, failure isn’t the end of things. Failure is pretty much the most common middle of things, to be honest.

So I’m throwing a party, I’m releasing a book, and I’m probably going to screw up parts. I’m going to fail. So long as I get better, I keep working, it’s okay to fail. So I’m going to fail, and I apologize ahead of time for that, but I’ll keep working, and hopefully that’ll make up for that failure.

Anyway, you can come join my party. It’ll be fun. I’ll keep working even when I fail. Love you!

Dead Machines Live People Book Release Extravaganza

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