My birth has been problematic. During the last hours in my mother’s womb, I suffered from a brain stroke that interested the left part of my brain.
The majority of babies cry their ways into life. I was still, my head was black from the brain hemorrhage.
But I was alive.
Because of the brain damage, for the first years of my life, my motorial skills were impeded, particularly the right side of my body. I started walking later than most kids, I underwent electro-stimulation, I wore Frankenstein’s like orthopedic shoes. I wasn´t good in sports that required reflex and limbs-eye co-ordination.
„But, oh men! I was alive. And Life taught me and I learned. “
I learned to communicate. I learned to walk. I learned to love. I learned the culture. I learned to suffer. I learned friendship. I learned to work. I learned ethics. I learned to smile.
These are among Life´s most precious, also the most basic lessons. But they take years to unravel. I did not learn them conceptually. I learned through experiencing, and “post-mortem” introspective, rational analysis.
You cannot read a „how to walk book “, you learn by trying to stand and walking. You cannot avoid to fall and I kept falling a lot. But, when you are a kid and you are three years old, you don´t know you are supposed to be walking already. You don´t know it´s not normal to find it so difficult to coordinate your leg or your arm. You don´t know your limits. Yet, paradoxically, you accept them. You are aware of them, you instinctively put more work in to overcome your own limitations. Regardless, of where your limits are compared to other people´s talents. You keep moving forward, you try you fall, you try again, you fall again. Eventually, you learn. Eventually, you improve. You do not blame yourself for falling when you first try to stand, you do not judge yourself a loser.
The message I want to share, the message I want to put out and to remind myself, is that you learn whether you like it or not, whether you want it or not. But you have to accept failure as a part of it.
Life is a good teacher and has many lessons to teach. Sometimes, you can pick your lessons. Sometimes you can choose where to focus. It´s a school, and it´s not a standard school. You cannot drop out of it.
You might repeat kindergarten many years over. You might be an expert at repeating this kindergarten year. You might feel comfortable and strong. You feel right. But you repeat the same year fifty times. Or you can hope to graduate, you can hope to improve, you can hope to learn as many lessons as possible.
Failing is part of learning. If you are not failing, then you are not learning. Failing means that you have step-up to a whole new level. To fail means you are learning something new.
Every baby could be a master of “sitting”, but every baby keeps trying and failing. Keeps trying and falling, until finally they learn to stand, they learn to walk, they learn to run.
Do not be too hard on yourself for failing, be hard on yourself when you stop trying.