At fifteen, I ran away from one bad home situation into an even worse one. Within a year, I was introduced to a lifestyle of rampant drug use and went from a straight-A student to a high school drop-out. Sitting by candlelight one night, the electricity having been cut-off due to non-payment again, I sat filling out application forms for dead-end, minimum wage jobs, when a life-changing thought occurred to me like a lightning bolt:
No one is going to save me from this.
I realized in that moment that I had made a mistake – a big one. My life was falling apart. I was going nowhere very quickly and I knew that no one was going to sweep in and save me.
I had made a mistake, but in accepting that mistake and learning from it – rather than beating myself up emotionally and staying stuck in that situation -I realized that I could change things and, more importantly, I did.
Within a year, I had painfully extricated myself from that life into a better one. I went back to school, earned a few university degrees and have been on the road to a much better life ever since and I owe all of my success and my happiness to those mistakes I made along the way.
Although painful, I am strangely grateful to them. Without those mistakes, I wouldn’t have worked as hard to get what I want. Without them, I might not have known what I wanted and I certainly wouldn’t have learned to appreciate all that I have now.
Since becoming an indie author in the past year, I have recently begun to realize that I have been making a whole lot of mistakes along the way. I have put out four books and have struggled to get them noticed, read, reviewed. It’s been frustrating and disheartening, but I’ve begun to realize that it’s not because of me or the books, but because of my lack of marketing and distribution channels. More importantly, I know that I can change that, I can fix it. And I will.
Mistakes can lead to failure, but viewed in another light – even by dim candlelight- they can also point the way to success and there’s no shame in learning that at any point in our lives.