My Favorite Mistakes

Most of you know I have a lust for lists. I begin each day making a list of things to do and I begin each year with a list of aspirations. I even make lists of clothes I want.

This is currently at the top of that list:







































The book Listography: Your Life in Lists is a guided journal that’s meant to help you create your autobiography through lists. I turn to this book whenever I’m faced with a bad case of writer’s block and recently I came across this writing prompt: List the things you’re glad you did.



It’s easy to list things like:


- Married my best friend

- Got a college education



- Embraced my curly hair (so I can buy cool t-shirts about it)


But these are all things I did knowing I’d end up a better person with a better life. But what about the so-called mistakes? What about the things people warned me not to do, but I did anyway? What about the things I did even though my insides were spasming every step of the way?


That list would read something like this:


- Fell for the guy I knew would break my heart


 Moved nearly 3,000 miles away from everyone I loved to get a master’s degree I wasn’t sure I even wanted


- Gave up a cool writing gig to move back Birmingham and teach teenagers


Yes, my fling with the guy with the big muscles and fast car left me coiled in a ball in my dorm room crying my eyes out, but I don’t regret one second I spent with him. How could I? We had too much fun. Plus, hurtful relationships always teach you a lesson and make the moment you find Mr. Right even sweeter. 


My first few months in California taught me the true meaning of homesickness. I missed my friends and family so much I was actually sick to my stomach most days. But I left the West Coast a stronger, more well-rounded person and a better writer. Best of all, the distance showed Mr. Right and me just how strong our love was. 


Sometimes I wonder if I made a mistake giving up writing full time. Yes, I love teaching and I work with an amazing group of kids, but I miss writing almost as much as I missed Edd on those lonely Bay Area nights. Nonetheless, I’m confident that one day I’ll know why this “mistake” was the right choice indeed. 


What are your favorite mistakes?

2 Comments

  1. My favorite mistake was going natural. Back in 1999, I decided 2 cut my hair so I got a fresh relaxer & cut. & I kept cutting & cutting month after month until I ended up with a caesar!! When I saw my natural hair I feel in love & I never want 2 relax it ever again!!
    D. Savage

  2. As bad as it sound i havent made any mistakes that i think were good ones. At least there arent any that come to mind and make me think “I’m so glad i made that mistake!”

    P.S.
    I’ll be ordering my hair shirt soon.

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