Mistakes are part of life. They’re part of being a human. The trick to screwing things up is not beating yourself up about it but learning from it and finding the lesson in the mess.
Here are 7 things you’re most likely going to mess up at least once in your life:
1. You’re going to forget a very important person’s birthday. Maybe it’s a significant other. Maybe it’s a parent. Maybe it’s your best friend. I don’t really know who it will be for you, but I promise you that you’ll forget. And I also promise you that the world will not end. You’ll feel bad. You’ll apologize. And then I hope you write those dates DOWN in your paper planner, your Google Calendar, your palms, or however you decide to remember. Sometimes we all need an extra reminder, and you know what? That’s okay.
2. You’re going to be late to an important event. Maybe it’s work. Maybe it’s class. Maybe it’s a wedding. It’ll be something. And yes, you’re going to feel awful and embarrassed at the same time. Learn to leave extra time for travel. Learn to be there 10 minutes before whatever you’re going to is supposed to start. This is a lesson I’m still learning, too.
3. You’re going to burn dinner. It’s not going to be pretty. It’s going to be pretty gross. You’re going to get mad and beat yourself up. Hopefully you’ll just laugh. Maybe you’ll do both. Just as long as you don’t burn your house down, I promise it’ll be okay. Next time set a timer and stop trying to do 20 other things while you’re cooking. Open flames need attention.
4. You’re going to ruin an item of clothing when you’re doing laundry. It’s probably because you’re in a rush. Or maybe it’s because you’re a little lazy that day, and you just can’t be bothered to pay attention to the labels. And while that’s a great philosophy in life, it’ll be problematic for your wardrobe. Don’t despair — just take the time to read the labels the next time. When you get into that habit, you’re less likely to ruin your favorite shirt.
5. You’re going to drink too much at one point. Now, if you’re someone who abstains from drinking altogether, obviously this will not apply to you. But if you do imbibe every once in a while, listen up. It’s important to know when to stop. Having a bottle of wine and then some cocktails is not going to end pretty for you or anyone around you. Learn how to conduct yourself with maturity. Learn what you are capable of and understand that it’s different for every human. Pay attention to how much is too much for you, and make sure you eat while you’re enjoying a cocktail or two. Drinking on an empty stomach is always a bad idea — so is drinking when you’re upset or sad or angry.
6. You’re going to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. Maybe it’s because you weren’t thinking. Maybe it’s because you weren’t aware of the people that surrounded you at the time. Maybe it’s because you had too much to drink, and then you had liquid courage that really should’ve been kept in that bottle. Maybe it’s something else entirely. But you will say it. The trick is not to berate yourself for it — the trick is to learn from it.
7. You’re going to fall in love with someone or something that will break your heart. You’re not going to realize that it’s a bad choice right away. I don’t really think anyone ever does. But you’re going to fall. And then you’re going to fall harder. And then you’re going to break. It’s going to hurt a lot. You’re going to cry. You’re going to feel like an idiot for making the choice, and you’re going to feel like you can’t ever choose something right. Please stop beating yourself up about it. Your heart, your desire to love and give love and receive love, it’s beautiful. Sometimes, it won’t work out the way you hope, and that’s okay. But please do not close yourself off to the love that can, and will, come after. Each relationship you have can teach you something — what you want, want you need, and what does not sit well with you. Learn from your heartbreak, and then please give yourself permission to love again. It might be scary, but love is always worth it.