Remembering the mistakes, forgetting the successes, and the evolution of one’s character

I can remember every failure or mistake I’ve ever made. I could write out a list right now. Give me some ink, a quill, and a monk’s desk, and I could create a scroll that when opened would roll out for miles and miles.

I often wonder if other people face this or have this negative habit.

Say hello to my little friend, Jingles. He’s a genius. © Amy Walters – Fotolia.com

Every day I’m reminded of a few choice errors. It’s hard to predict which ones, but some bad memory comes flooding back. And I beat myself up about it.

The ones that hurt the most are the ones that hurt our family and have kept us from having more in life. But there are relationship mistakes I’ve made too, and those smart sometimes. And then there are the mistakes that have damaged my health. Ouch, thinking about a few now.

This is like shaking a warm can of Coke and popping the top.

I don’t remember very many of the successes. It’s either because there haven’t been very many or I don’t feel deserving of them? I have no idea, but the ratio is skewed in favor of remembering the idiotic and stupid things I’ve done – most too embarrassing to mention.

I try not to think of my first 25 years at all. They’re a collage of mistakes and bad choices and feeling like the village idiot. I’m lucky I didn’t end up in jail or an urn.

I’ve never claimed to be bright. And if anything, I wouldn’t say I’ve gotten smarter over the years as much as I would say I’m just not as dumb as I once was. So, I guess it comes down to degrees of stupidity. I’m less stupid than I was. Barely.

If there is a bright spot, I feel like I’ve improved as a human being over the years. It just took me a long time to get to this point. And I did have to figure out a lot of it on my own and the evolution took a little bit longer than it does for most people. Not that I have everything figured out now. I don’t.

I tell my daughter that the worse part of lying or doing bad things is not always the action itself, it’s the memories of what you did. They last a lifetime and haunt like ghosts.

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4 thoughts on “Remembering the mistakes, forgetting the successes, and the evolution of one’s character

  1. I was just talking to a friend about the perfection this society demands. It’s why we are so uptight about every little thing. It’s scary to make mistakes in a world that demands so much! And, we demand it most from ourselves. Go easy on yourself, friend. You deserve the gift of forgiveness. Especially from yourself.

  2. “I’m just not as dumb as I once was. So, I guess it comes down to degrees of stupidity. I’m less stupid than I was.”

    I love, love, love this! I’m going to use this statement (like all the time, to my husband, mother, son, grandmother…) It describes me PERFECTLY! We may be on opposite sides of the globe, but I suspect we’d get along famously in real life (though our spouses might well shudder at the mere thought of the chaos left in our wake).

    • Karyn,

      As a huge fan of yours, I completely agree that “we’d get along famously in real life.” I am very happy for you that you get to live in Australia and enjoy that world with your family. And I like having a virtual friend like you living there.

      UC

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