I am No Runner
I have come to the conclusion that there are those that runaway and those that are steadfast in the game of life. For many years I would only pursue those things that I knew success was assured. By age 10 I wanted to crochet, bake and braid skillfully. I made no excuses rather I invested my time, and myself to become better at my crafts. I worked on these skills religiously… why? I was determined to be one of the best at what I did. I cannot say learning these disciplines were easy yet my passion, determination and cheering sections (family, friends, strangers) encouraged me every step of the way. To my 10 year old self I had to be good at these things because my family was.
In my eyes failure was not a choice in these areas because:
My late grandmothers, Dorothy & Emma, were the best at crochet and macramé,
My mom, Ulicia, made the best peanut butter cookies,
My dad, Jimmie Lee, was an artisan,
And my aunt, Mary, was an amazing hairstylist.
Yet as we grow in age and from fearless to apprehensive we begin to doubt ourselves, our abilities, and our capacity to learn new talents/skills based on the words of others whether true or not. As I got older some of the same people who encouraged me began to deter me from expecting more out my skills, myself and life. During this negative whirlwind of words I stopped being my creative self to fit in with the norm, emotional walls were built to shield me; however once not needed I did not know how to knock the walls down. I began to retreat just enough to seem like a reserved version of myself.
In my teen years God began to expose me to more than just my small South Philadelphia and church community. Whatever my new area of interest, He granted me a common and uncommon mentor. I received awards, accolades outside of the four walls of my community and though some of the people from my cheering section departed, it was filled with a few who truly believed in me. God would not allow me to stay stuck behind a wall unless that’s where I wanted to live. He offered me more and I wanted the more.
It took me until adulthood to begin to understand most children are fearless but adults project their fear of failure and/or doubt onto children. I had to allow the words that plagued me to cultivate my ability to surmount the fear of failure. Failure is a tool for growth. It is not a hindrance, it can be overcome, and it is necessary to produce gratefulness, humility and personal character.
People will fail you… processes will fail you… you will fail you… there is nothing to fear about failure… failure is real and it happens. Yet through it all you must allow yourself to acknowledge your failures, allow yourself to feel the emotions, embrace the newness of it, and grow in spite of it. Stand steadfast, face your failure and grow.
For you are no runner.