The Zoey Blog: A New Definition For an Old Idea... FINAL - COVER UNIVERSE EXPLORERS ORDER

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A New Definition For an Old Idea...

I just read a story in which a young woman described her father as, "spectacular in both success and failure," and now I want to be just that. Shouldn't we all? What a brilliant depiction of the kind of man that we all should want to be for our children and spouses.

It suggests fearlessness, or at least, a willingness to be frightened. I think perhaps the term "fearless" is overused and maybe even a little misleading. Fearlessness translates loosely into stupid, whereas a willingness to be frightened looks an awful lot closer to what should be our image. I'd like to think that although I scare easy I'm also relatively uninhibited by the notion of flinging myself into the flames. I might not be much of a pretty picture before I leap, but I regularly swan dive into the unknown without so much as a knife between my teeth.

Spectacular in both success and failure. It's incredible really, isn't it? I have a difficult time accepting compliments, even timely, justified or hard earned ones, I just don't do it well. I shrug them off, disbelieve the meat of them, occasionally dismiss them as disingenuous...I don't know why I do that. This one, however, I would love to hang above my mantle and show the world. Spectacular in both success and failure. I love it.

Do you take risks? I suppose do, although I rarely quantify them as risks so they hardly count as that in my own mind. I try to go out and grab the things that I want, and quickly discern whether I even really want them or not, and then enjoy the heck out of them until, like a well chewed piece of chewing gum, the flavor's all gone and there's really no use in all that jaw tiring chomping anymore. I'm fairly calculated in that I don't often take chances on ridiculous things, but I lead with my gut, and I am drawn this way and that by emotion, and it hasn't failed me yet. I might find myself muddy and looking less like the man I or anyone else might recognize for a brief moment, but then I quickly get back to being the person that makes me most comfortable.

I take risks, but maybe I'm most proud that I don't define myself by those typical definitions of failure or success as others might. I've learned that failing is a good thing...a humbling, perspective shaking, priority re-defining endeavor that grows your shadow and legacy more rapidly than most successes. Getting knocked down and then getting back up is a whole lot more character defining then having never fell in the first place. Should the whole thing unsettle you? Sure it should, or you might need shock therapy, but the fact that your alive enough to know when something feels unsettling and should feel unsettling is a spectacular thing, a much more impressive thing than simply recognizing yourself in success.

I want my daughter to watch me fail, and then to catch me dusting myself off, perhaps even drying my eyes. I want her to be able to ask me questions about that, and for me to be able to answer them with the spectacular kind of answers that she deserves, so that she's never known what a man can't be, only what he should be. That would be spectacular.


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