Lately we've been talking about all the things that didn’t quite go all the way, or all the things that didn’t go quite how you expected. And it got me thinking about failure; where it gets us, and what it means. If it wasn’t forever, was it a failure?
Two “failures” that particularly stick in my mind this year have been two things that have changed my outlook for the future. One being the P&P cafe closing, and two being a relationship that didn’t go “The Whole Way”, if such a definition exists.
P&P was without a doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but also the best. I met some incredible people, learnt SO much about myself and about food and business. I also learnt where my boundaries lie, and what I do and don’t want. I hope it makes people smile when they think of it, as it still does for me. The decision to not open in a new premises was hard, and one that has hurt a lot over the past few months, but I think it is the right one for now.
At the same time as that, last year I ended a relationship because I was scared; I’d never felt so intensely so quickly for someone, and it was a relationship that was different to any I’d had before. In the best kind of way, he was different to anyone I’d been with. He taught me to live in the present more, to “let go” a bit more, and he taught me what I want, though I didn't know it at the time. But because we were different in how we communicated, It meant I didn’t know how to put my insecurities aside. I felt like I didn’t know how to navigate the whole thing, and that terrified me. It didn’t occur to me that actually, sometimes you’re meant to let go and let it navigate you. Just because he didn’t communicate like me, didn’t mean he wasn’t communicating. I just needed to let time teach me.
These two experiences showed me some of the best times of my life, and two of the places from which I continue to grow from. I never thought that I’d be talking about two of my failures as essentially two of my biggest successes. For me, something is a success if it teaches you, shakes your status quo, and if it brings good or happiness into the life of someone else.
My lesson from both these “failures”, if you were to look at them in the typical “not forever” sense is that anything worth having, even for a short period of time, takes effort, dedication, desire and the risk of being hurt. And the reward is feeling like you’re home.