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?



  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!”

    I’ll be ordering my hair shirt soon.

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