At 12 years old, I’m sitting in a room full of people. There are five different conversations going on and I love listening to what everyone has to say. I’d really love to take part in the conversation, but I know I take a chance of sounding young and then they will stop talking as grown ups. I get to learn so much more when they don’t notice I’m listening.
When a conversation gets less exciting I just move to another one. I seem to be the youngest one in most situations. Someone finally asks me a direct question and I respond, feeling so special for a fleeting moment.
Then I know I’ve done it, I misused a word like ethnic compared to ethics. I feel stupid and quickly exit as comfortably as possible. I vow never to try again and start to stick to simple conversations that are not satisfying in any way.
I go on like this for over 10 years. I had deep conversations in smaller groups and especially with my parents. Then I met Kevin. He convinced me to make mistakes and not worry about it. He says it’s one of the things he loves about me. I started to take my education into my own hands (but that’s another topic).
If I could go back to that 12 year old Kelly, I would tell her to
That all those people had to learn those same topics/words at some point too.
I would say to myself,
Read the situation, listen and learn.
There is no way to figure it out until you’ve made enough mistakes for people to notice.
I’m a pile of mistakes now and I love it.
I am trying to pass this lesson on to my kids (when I am awesome Momma), but I can see the same situations happen to them. It’s OK to laugh at messing up, figure it out then just move on.
Surround yourself around people that flourish in that environment. And help teach those that create “No Failure” situations that there is another way.