Yesterday was an incredibly gorgeous day in the Pacific Northwest, when the air is so delicious that just breathing is an incredible rush.
So I bought a brand-new stunt kite and set out on my bike to get a sunburn.
As the brilliant kite zipped up into the air, alive and pulling hard at the end of my lines, I felt the thrill of it in my blood. All the grey days and late nights battling a mutating ToDo list, all the crazy hour death marches at work, were all worth it just to be alive at this moment and flying in the sun by the ocean. Nothing could be more glorious!
I spun through an amazing crazy stunt, gathered a small crowd of exclaiming onlookers… and smashed into the ground. I could not get my beautiful brand-new kite to stay aloft for more than a minute at a time.
Which isn’t that unusual, considering that I’d never actually flown it before.
Growing up, I learned biking without training wheels, swimming by diving into the deep end, and programming by starting at the end of the book.
Trouble is, it usually worked. I learned to despise my mistakes.
While I unscrambled kite string, the onlookers wandered away. The lump of shame stung hard in my throat. Launch! Crash! Launch! Crash! If I could only get the hang of keeping it in the air, I promised I would never let it come near the ground again.
Then a funny thing happened. As I got better, I found myself getting bored with just holding it aloft. Less than an hour ago, I’d prayed for that very thing. Now that I could do it easily, I tried wilder and wilder stunts, daring myself to zoom as close to the ground as I could and pull back at the very last second.
Now when I crashed, I ran jubilantly to unscramble the lines. Every crash meant that I was trying something spectacular!
Life is not about avoiding mistakes, but learning to make glorious ones.
Some lessons I just have to keep learning.
Question: What was your most glorious mistake? What would you like your next one to be?