Saturday, April 24, 2010

Personal Fail

It's 5:30pm on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Vegas. I should be out on a local high school track field putting the finishing touches on our Team campsite and helping sell knick knacks to raise money for cancer.

Instead, I am hiding in my apartment, under my blanket, in a darkened front room, writing a blog post about how I failed myself.

Today was the day of my long awaited and highly anticipated 2-day Relay for Life Walk for the American Cancer Society. I have been waiting for this day for over a month. I have told all my friends and family about how excited I am to do this. I raised $100.00 of other people's money all by committing to participate in this event.

I was going to be part of a Team. I was going to bravely and successfully walk into a social setting, be a part of a group of individuals I had never met before for 12+ hours and do something for others that aren't able to for themselves because they were struck down by cancer or are still fighting. The walking all night wasn't even a concern.

I failed. I wasn't able to rise above my fears and stay. I ran away and hid all because I wouldn't work through my anxieties, fears and old behaviors. I'm not supposed to be beating myself up over this but what a day to pick to do this childish, selfish crap. People were counting on me and I couldn't get over myself long enough to stay the course and remain faithful to them or to myself.

It started out wonderfully. I had met some key members of the team. I was happy to donate my truck to bringing the big items to the field. I was in heaven setting up the team fundraising tent with decorations.

My daughter made of friend and they were happily enjoying their time, being a part of something awesome. I was so proud to be showing my daughter how big the world can be and how important it is to help others.

That all crumbled when I was left on my own (big no no - don't you know you're not supposed to leave children alone!) to finish up the decorating and sell knick knacks. A new member of the team arrived, interrupting the "reach-out" call I made to my friend that helps me stay balanced when nervous. I didn't know it then but in a matter of moments after shaking this person's hand, I would be leaving the field because I couldn't handle his short-tempered, bossy, rude behavior. I gave him "too much power over me" as my friend would say. He would ask me questions to things I didn't have an answer to and then interrupt me as I attempted to answer him.

After three attemps to make conversation with this fellow, I was beat. I asked if he could take over the fundraising table as I needed to leave for a bit. I called the Team Captain who had left 15 minutes prior to let her know I was headed home to let the puppy out. I later texted her (texted? really? couldn't I muster up enough courage to call her and tell her directly that I didn't want to return? - nope). That's who I become when I let this negative monster take the reins.

Instead of going home, I should have started blasting out laps on the track with my daughter riding her bike. I should have walked away and started helping out another team or go to the food stand and help them. I should have called my friend back for a much needed "snap out of it" lecture. And most of all, I didn't pray that God relieve me of the bondage of self and to take away my difficulties. I didn't do any of those. As I sit here in tears, I am paying the price.

I texted another friend of mine stating "I'm not healthy enough to do the things I want to do." He reassured me I was but that I just don't believe it yet. That's it's just a matter of faith in myself...and practice. He went on to say if I decide that I didn't want to be there and I never wanted to see these people again, it's okay too. Just don't beat up on myself, that's the only thing that we can't do." I also told myself don't drink over this as I resolved to quit, to give up, to fail.

I knew as I headed home that it was over. My hopes for doing this event, for running laps at 1:00am for those lost to cancer, for being a part of a team, for being a selfless, giving individual were over. That old tape started playing in my head that I couldn't do this and what was I thinking trying to be that kind of person. What was I thinking trying to do this event on my own, with "strangers" and lots of different personalities (both inside my head and at the field).

It's sad to allow myself to fail like this when I have tools today to help me live this life on life's terms, not my own. I chose not to use them. I made the choice not to try something different when faced with insecurity and fear. I wanted to stay stuck in my self pity and old thoughts. After all, they are like that old, comfy blanket I'm sitting under right now. What I don't want to admit is that old comfy blanket is full of holes, has a stink to it that Tide cannot fight, and is kind of ugly. It's my choice.

Before closing this post, my daughter emerged from her nap and came over to me and said "When you're sad, I'm sad. I love you Mommy, no matter what." She went over to her desk and wrote me this note...
To the best prsun in the Mom

I smile knowing I'm going to get through this. There's a lesson in there somewhere that I will need to find.

I'm going to allow myself to believe in the message my daughter wrote even though the event is going on happily without me.


  1. I'm with you right now, my sweet friend, crying with you and hugging you in my heart. You are such a precious person and it is absolutely OK that you gave in to the fear and stayed home. If you were meant to be there today you would be. We're in this life and on this Earth to learn. You've acknowledged your mistakes and your feelings, now you can come back to the present moment and have some QT with that little angel of yours. It sounds like she is one of your master teachers...

  2. Maybe in this case you failed but when you hear that ugly voice in your head I want you to hear the LOUD voice of those of us who you have been touched and helped by you. I gave because of you. I have at times tried to be a better person because of your example and even though you "failed" here you are out doing great things each and every day. So tell that voice to go to hell and listen to the amazing voice of the blessing of a daughter and of those who have been touched by you. :-)

  3. Robi in NCApril 25, 2010

    I don't think you failed at all. Someone was not being nice...and you removed yourself from the painful situation because YOU DESSERVE to be treated better than that. You feel you failed, but what if the whole lesson here wasn't for you...what if the lesson WAS you. You showing the other person the implications of their actions. By your self-respect, your left a negative situation and the "Meany" you left behind had to deal with his/her actions. Maybe they are the one that is needing self-reflection time on how to be more accepting and more understanding of others. I am sure that in the future, that person is bound to re-think his/her actions. You did not succeeded in teaching someone else. I think sometimes that we misunderstand the meaning of the word failure. Just because you ended up not finishing something that you intended, does not mean failure...remember all the the things you learned on the journey. One of my favorite sayings is, "Sometimes on the way to a dream you get lost and find a better one." Maybe you didn't walk...but you did learn and you did grow and others benefited from your actions...sounds like a win to me! LVOE you!!!


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