Query: “Lately I have been failing at adulting and I need some fail stories to make my life. Also, any ideas on how to give yourself grace when you mess up?”
~Failing like it’s my job
Dear “Failing like it’s my job”,
Let’s be real, adulthood is incredibly difficult! For some, the first 18 years of life are spent leeching off of your parents. Parents can be the ultimate safety-net! It is a really sweet deal until one day you go off to college and are left to fend for yourself.
If you are like me, your failing at adulthood became apparent when your access to the cafeteria ended. I remember when I moved off-campus my junior year, I was appalled to learn that I didn’t even know how to hard boil eggs. Since then, I have burned so many meats, let many yogurts go expired and definitely not mastered the crockpot.
I chatted with some of my housemates and they too felt like they failed at adulting all the time. Here are some great adult fails that my housemates immediately came up with.
“I dumped two smoothies in my car.”
“Someone crashed into my brand new TV during a game of mafia.”
“I didn’t realize there was a difference between dishwasher soap and dish soap. That disaster ended in a waterfall of suds all over the kitchen floor.”
“When I realized that I bought the wrong size iPhone case and screen protector, I cried.”
“I drove into the fence of my own backyard.”
“Apparently tortillas can expire.”
“I made a resolution to eat healthier this year and then a half hour later I ate a roll of cookie dough.”
“My housemate caught a paper towel on fire.”
“For some reason, our vacuum spits out mini chocolate chips on the carpet when I am using it.”
“There is a dead bird laying outside and no one wants to pick it up.”
These stories were all things that have happened to 5 girls who were in the kitchen while I was writing this story. Imagine how many other fails are occurring all over campus, every day and you have no idea. I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel better.
The important thing is to let these fails roll off you like water rolls off of a duck’s feathers. What this saying means is that you can’t let small failures ruin your day.
My best advice is to just laugh it off. Everyone, especially at Whitworth, is making mistakes just like you, so there is no need to feel ashamed. Give yourself the freedom to make mistakes and then chalk it up to being young and inexperienced.
The only way you can succeed at certain tasks is by trying and sometimes failing at them a couple of times. This advice can be applied to small things, like getting your oil changed for the first time or to huge things, like a job interview.
Another helpful tactic is to encourage yourself when you do something right. The first time I made banana bread I felt surprisingly proud of myself (If you can’t tell already cooking is not my strong suit). Or when I landed a job interview, I let myself feel the excitement. I stopped worrying about potentially failing and for a moment I felt free of the anxiety that comes with messing up.
By deciding to remain positive and giving yourself room to grow, you will be able to give yourself grace when it seems like you can’t stop making mistakes.
Be gentle to yourself. You are growing up and that is going to come with unique hurdles and tasks that you never dreamed of.
You got this.