Mistakes Help Us Learn Important Life Lessons
A few years ago, I took one notebook from my stationery collection and wrote on its first page: “My Official Book of Mistakes.” In this notebook, I was supposed to write the mistakes I made in business so that I would work hard on not repeating them while moving forward.
I only rediscovered it a few days ago when I was cleaning out my belongings and sorting out items to give away. Instantly, I wondered why I had not continued it.
As a small-scale entrepreneur, it’s inevitable that I’ll make mistakes. In fact, there are days so rife with mistakes that I end up questioning my entire skill set — whether I am truly equipped for business.
But mistakes are normal. In fact, in a highly memorable song from “Sesame Street,” Big Bird sings, “Everyone makes mistakes, oh yes they do!/ Your sister and your brother and your dad and mother, too./ … Everyone makes mistakes, so why can’t you?”
If this is the message we want to send to our children, why don’t we apply it in our own unforgiving adult lives? Why must we get caught up in other people’s mistakes, or penalize ourselves for our errors? Perhaps there is a healthier way to go about this.
I met my husband, Jared, when we were both in college. I fell in love with him for his personality and mature outlook on life. I liked that he embraced me entirely and made an effort to understand me — including the dark parts of my mind.
Jared and I are married now. It’s a beautiful thing to be married to one’s best friend. Yet some people have also criticized our union for being a “mistake.”
Married life does come with its challenges. Money is always a concern, especially for one who is disabled. The truth is that our quality of life improves if we have the financial capacity to keep our health conditions stable without causing other aspects of our lives to suffer.
Our respective conditions require Jared and I to take unconventional approaches to work and earning money. We are still figuring it out. In the process, we have managed to make several mistakes. We’re still working on ironing out some of our recent errors. But history has proven time and time again that even the worst mistakes can give rise to important lessons.
Society seems to have concocted a “script” defining how people ought to live their lives for things to come easily. There is a formula for getting rich quickly (rich parents or hard work and guaranteed investments; what are guaranteed investments, anyway?), and a formula for finding an ideal spouse or partner. It’s easy to feel hopeless whenever I sense myself operating outside of that script. My husband and I cannot even be defined by that script.
At times, it feels like Jared and I are trailblazing through uncharted territory. There are few, if any, self-help books written for people married to chronically ill individuals. (I am genuinely interested in finding one, if such a thing exists. Marriage is different for every couple, but it’s always great to hear insights from couples who have similar backgrounds.)
At times, it occurs to me that I am alone in my journey as a woman married to someone with hemophilia. I am not close to anyone else in the same situation. Therefore, I have no benchmark for what I “should” be doing. But why should I base my actions and decisions on what works in other people’s lives? I have a different context.
I have learned so far that in life, the only thing I can control are my own actions. And once I have acted, it is not wise to look back or dwell. Life goes on and I can choose to keep moving forward and treat every aspect of my life — good or bad — as a learning experience.
Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.