On Missteps and Mistakes, On Falling and Failing

That first moment after you almost fall flat on your face stings as much as the pavement would have against your bare skin. And your first reaction? It's always to look around. To see if anyone saw. To see if anyone noticed that for the briefest of moments, you stumbled.

And that's where I am in life. I moved to California five months ago telling grandiose stories of pursuing a dream and becoming successful. I'm back again. I no longer lay down to sleep in the filmmaking metropolis of the world. My pillow lies in the Midwest. The bubbling metropolis of ... not much of anything.

And I'm looking to see if anyone noticed that I tripped.

Because by any normal standards, I failed. By any normal standards, my trip to California was a mistake. And by any normal standards, I should be severely depressed about now.

So I'm done with normal standards. I'll measure my success in new ways. Let me repeat - new ways. Success won't look the same today as it'll look tomorrow. It doesn't have to. Because I can't be unhappy anymore. And if I think myself a failure, that's exactly what I'll be.

So this is me, standing up. Brushing myself off. Looking you right in the eye, admitting that I just tripped over my own feet.

And now? I'll just keep walking, even if I do watch where I step a little more carefully.