The first time I really f*cked up, I slept in the Bangkok airport alone.
Trying to keep it together, I curled up onto a few airport seats with my backpack tucked under my legs and almost cried.
How did I end up here alone? Would I be safe in this place alone? Would I make it through the rest of the trip considering my current state of stupidity? The loop of negative thoughts lulled me into a restless sleep.
At 8 p.m., I woke up to adjust my backpack “pillow,” and noticed a woman curled up into a few airport seats across from me. We smiled at each other sheepishly, and I watched her take a similar position to mine.
At 12 a.m., I woke up to three other women of different nationalities, who were all sleeping next to us, curled up in the same way.
As I popped my head up, stretched my aching legs, and looked around, I realized we had created a makeshift women’s hostel. It was a beautiful moment: women banding together to form a safety net for each other.
With this new appreciation of my current situation, I thought back to earlier in the day when three amazing women helped me get my passport from the Vietnamese embassy, even though it was closed when I got there. I thought about the taxi driver who drove above the speed limit to get me to the airport, and the manager at the airport who helped me find a new flight for the following morning after I missed my first one.
We are never as alone as we think we are in our struggles, and it is when we are at our most vulnerable that we can learn the greatest lessons.
Here are seven quotes to take to heart when you f*ck up :
>> “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” ~ Albert Einstein
>> “When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.” ~ Paulo Coelho
>> “We learn from failure, not from success!” ~ Bram Stoker, Dracula
>> “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” ~ Neil Gaiman
>> “Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” ~ Oscar Wilde
>> ”You will fail at some point in your life. Accept it. You will lose. You will embarrass yourself. You will suck at something. There is no doubt about it. Never be discouraged. Never hold back. Give everything you’ve got. And when you fall throughout life, and maybe even tonight after a few too many glasses of champagne, all forward.” ~ Denzel Washington
>> ”Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
We’re often faced with the consequences of our own blunders and absent-mindedness. We get so wrapped up in the moment that we forget to see the good things—however small they may be.
We then beat ourselves up about it and forget that we are human, and humans make mistakes. We give into the struggle and let it keep us from moving forward. We forget that the struggle is what unites us.
We all f*ck up now and then, but it’s how we come back from it that makes the journey an adventure.
Author: Sara McKee
Image: Shamim Nakhai/Unsplash
Apprentice Editor: Laura B. Childs/ Editor: Lieselle Davidson
Copy Editor: Catherine Monkman
Social Editor: Lindsey