It seems like a pretty easy thing to understand. Be okay with failing. Failing doesn't mean you've failed. But why is this so hard to practice? It may just be a personal thing, but it's just tough to allow yourself to fail.
It never feels like there's wiggle room when it comes to learning something new, especially in school. You either have to pick it up right away and do it correctly, or you fail. Damn you failed, that sucks. Turn the page and now learn this new topic that needs the understanding of the old topic you clearly didn't understand in order to save your grade. Failing is just not an option.
Then you're also taught that if you fail, you yourself is a failure. Why do you have to make me feel like I'm a failure when I was already having a hard time learning in the first place? That kind of stuff is hard to unlearn. No one wants to fail. No one is trying to fail. We all just learn at different paces. A good amount of people don't learn things on the first try.
So, after a few years out of college, I'm trying to finally unlearn this.
I also have to say, I know it comes from a place of privilege to be in a place where I can allow myself to fail. A lot of people do not have this privilege. I am forever grateful to my parents for allowing me this privilege.
But did I know I had this privilege growing up? Nope. I mean I had a slight idea, but it didn't feel like I had that support. Growing up, my parents would always push me and my siblings towards careers in health care, engineering, etc. These are pretty typical jobs for parents to be pushing their kids towards so they can have a strong steady income in order to get through life. Nothing wrong with it, but it just wasn't something I began to see myself doing.
My parents paid for my college, but luckily didn't get too mad at me when I changed to a film major. They still didn't like the decision, but they didn't actively try to stop me from doing it. I just felt a lot of skepticism coming from them about my decision. I mean, understandably so, but it didn't allow me any space for error.
I've made my choice and now I have to prove to everybody that I've made the correct choice. After I graduated, I didn't move back home. I stayed in Long Beach because I felt like I needed to get a job in LA asap in order to get everyone's approval. Getting a job in the media business is tough. I guess I didn't think about it too much because YouTube became big and social media was beginning to become a must for every company. So I didn't think getting a job would be that tough.
Refreshing indeed and linkedin everyday to apply to different jobs. Sending out apps and not getting any emails back. Shit was not easy to get through. It began to feel like I was sending my applications into the void. Did the company even see it? Was my resume even read?
Then I finally landed an internship. Did one of my applications finally get chosen? Nope. But, that's a story for another time.
So, I land this internship at a media company. (Honestly first job in forever. I had an another internship but that was like 3 years prior). Was it paid? Nope. Was it local? Nope. But did I finally get my foot in the door? Yes. So I go through with the internship, because I was sure I could get myself either a job or a contract later. I worked the internship and then got offered a contract to be a freelance videographer/editor. That was exciting.
With that company I did a wide array of work. I would cover a charity event one day, then I would film a news show the next day, then I would film a foodie video the next day. It was fun and the experiences were great, but there was just an overall lack of direction with the company. I would be a one man crew on most projects. They would just tell me to film something and I'd have to turn it into content for their platforms. I would send them the video and they would just post it. I never got any direction in these projects and I also had a short leash with the projects. I will say I did fuck up on some projects. It was also my first time attempting a lot of these kinds of videos and I had to figure it out on my own.
I understand why they would have a short leash. It's a business and they're paying for my services. If I can't produce to their expected level, why should they keep me on? The main thing that bothered me was that I was never told or trained to produce the content they were expecting. I would send in my edit. The company would post it. Then the mother company would complain about my production value without any notes and expect it to get better.
That frustrated me. I didn't get any wiggle room. I'm a quick learner. Give me notes and I'll figure it out. How can I get it right in your eyes if you don't tell me what you're looking for?
After a company assessment, they decided to let me go. I usually told people that my contract expired since a year has passed, but I really got let go. I was signed through March and they let me go at the end of December. I started my internship in November the previous year, so people didn't question it when I said my contract expired. I failed. Why would I want people to know that?
That hit me hard. This happened just days after I bought a ticket to Japan with my friends to go on a trip we've been wanting to go on for years. My plan was to film a few more videos per month to pay off my credit card. Man did the timing hurt. I just made my first big purchase and a few days later my means of income vanishes. On top of that, I also have to pay my rent. Then pay for all the hostels and airbnbs we needed for the trip. Also, an express train ticket. Shit was piling up. I bought the ticket with a way to earn that money and some. Then a few days later, I'm seeing my bank account dwindle and my my credit card bill getting larger.
I fucked up and have to live with it.
It was hard to keep my head straight. I would apply to different jobs. I wouldn't get any responses. The thing is that I couldn't stay applying for jobs either. It's January and I bought my plane ticket for March where I'd be gone for 16 days. Who would hire someone, just for them to be gone for 16 days a month or two in?
Then I got a text from someone I met through my previous job. It was an opportunity. A pretty big opportunity. An opportunity that most dream of. I hopped on it. But the thing was that a week into the project I had my Japan trip. Luckily, he understood, and allowed me to resume when I would come back. Long story short, I mess up on that too.
I wasn't prepared for it. I went into it blind, with no sense of direction and fumbled the bag. That was rough.
I failed again.
I know this all sounds like first world problems. I fumbled different bags, why should anybody care or feel sad for what happened? I don't want anybody to feel bad for me or anything. Most people mess up. Most people don't succeed the first time around. Why would I even want to write all of this out? It's nothing to be proud about. But, I do believe that I will not fail in life. My past failures do not represent my future.
Fast forward to today. I moved back home to reset. I've been home for nearly a year now. Throughout this year I've just been trying to find my path. I feel like a lot of people are doing that right now. Everyone has been home and isolated substantially more this year than every year. It is only natural that we have these conversations with ourselves.
Do I know exactly what I want to be? Not really. Do I know exactly what I want to do professionally? Still not really. Do I have a general idea? Yeah. Do I know how to get there? Not really. Will I allow myself to fail and learn? I am trying.
I know in the future I won't be at this point anymore. I know I will get to a point where I have learned from my failures and will be successful. The road in between is what I don't know. But that's okay. Everyday is an opportunity to learn and grow. If that means failing on the way so be it. I don't know what Simplex Minds will turn into. I don't know whether it will succeed or fail. It will be okay if it fails. I can't learn if I don't try.
Still trying to learn that too, to be honest. I just want everything to look good and work well at the start, that if it's something that makes me uncomfortable it's hard to start.
I will allow myself to fail and grow here.
I can't make the complex looks simple, if I'm too afraid to even look the complex in the eyes.
Demystify the complex.
Understand the complex.
Simplify the complex.
Make the complex look simple.
How can I even try and run Simplex Minds if I'm not trying to become one myself. I will make the complex look simple. I just can't skip steps and act like I'm already there. I will be there. I just need to embrace the journey.
Not everything will go to plan. I will mess up. I will learn from those mistakes and be better. I will demystify the complex and begin understanding it.
I will allow myself to fail.