Are you prepared to fail?
In March of 2020 I took a new job and I was super excited about it.
4 days later I was a remote worker in a new field, with new responsibilities, sitting in my living room watching the world fall apart due to the Covid 19 outbreak. To say it was a strange time in my life would be a gigantic understatement.
It’s funny, on one hand I had started a new job in an industry I had been desperate at the time to be a part of, and on the other hand I had very heavily started dealing with what would later be a lot of anxiety and depression. The world was on fire and in a lot of ways my “safe little bubble” was crumbling in around me although I wasn’t aware of it at the time.
Fast forward to 6-months later…
And I was fired.
Fired? Let go? Transitioned out of employment? Any and all of these were true.
Funny story, the day I lost my job I was actually wearing a heart monitor because my doctor was concerned about the electrical signals going on with my heart. (long story short I’m obviously fine). But none the less you can see I was going through some shit ha.
Much of my life to that point was lived without ever having given any thought to the concept that I may be a failure. That anything I tried to do or anything I attempted to accomplish wouldn’t work out. It was this naïveté or irrational confidence in myself that was most crushed when I inevitably did fail and lost my job.
So in August of 2020 for the very first time in my life, everything stopped. The world was shut down, I was no longer employed, and I had nothing to do.
I had no purpose, no motivations, no hopes, no dreams. I was completely and utterly devoid of having any idea of who or what I was anymore. The only thing I ever identified with, my job, was now gone, and I was, for lack of a better term, lost at sea.
Up to that point in my life I hadn’t done much traveling and the prospects of heading to Europe or anywhere outside of the US were zero as all or most of the borders were closed due to the pandemic. So I did the only thing I could at the time and that was pack my car and head out on a cross country road trip. Just me, a few of my cameras, & film.
It’s may be funny and cliche but by the end of the near 30-day, 6,600 mile journey across the US I found myself.
I found what I loved and I found what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Photography had nestled its way deep into my soul on this trip and I knew that whatever I did with the rest of my life it had to include a camera. In a lot of ways that trip is what has put me on the path I am today, and for that I will always be grateful.
There is this old adage that life is what you make of it and that is absolutely true. I was lost, I had no idea who I was anymore and for the first time in my life I had the chance to figure that out. Often times life flies by and we very rarely are presented with the chance or opportunity to ask what we want out of it. This respite from the hamster wheel of life in August of 2020 gave me a chance to reassess. That reassessment has been the single greatest catalyst I could have ever asked for or hoped for.
Failure is not a bad thing and in a lot of ways it gets a bad rap. Nobody is 100% successful. NOBODY.
Hall of Fame baseball players succeed 3 out of 10 times in their careers so why is it that we shy away from being open and honest about our own failures? Were it not for the greatest failure of my life I wouldn’t be the person I am today living the life I have now.
Failure has become the single most important noun to describe a very significant part of my life. 25-year old John would have sugar coated what happened to make it seem like I wasn’t a failure. 36-year old John is confident enough to know that not everything I do will be a success and that is WILDLY ok. If you don’t take chances, and you don’t try, you can never end up living the best life you could hope for.