BellaOnline Literary Review
Death of Salome by Kristina Gehrmann

Non Fiction
Oops...I Did It Again!

Fe Starr

“An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.....” American president John F Kennedy said this. Yeah he really did! Back in the days when american presidents were intelligent and waaaay better looking. Hmm, or maybe that was just John F Kennedy....? ;0) JFK got this little gem of wisdom, admittedly from a wise man he said.

Its a cliché, but now I am older, I am wiser. When I was a teenager and up to my mid twenties, my fear of making a or any mistakes controlled my life. I planned my life like a military mission, I knew exactly where I wanted to be and exactly how I wanted to get there and I would not deviate in fear of making a mistake, because making a mistake would be the end of the world, the final kaput, something I could never comeback from or redeem myself from. No more lives, game over!

If you are a woman and you make a mistake, its an unforgivable act. Don’t bother fixing your hair, its straight to the gallows with you! Women, we pride ourselves on knowing absolutely everything and always getting things right. It is expected of us. It is a pressure that is put upon us by others and it is a pressure we put upon ourselves. Its men that are the mess ups and we who are the bastions of “getting it righteousness”.

Its no accident that indecisiveness is a women’s disease. I have to declare that I am not really indecisive at all. I am very decisive. Very decisive in that I am NOT going to make any mistakes, end of! As regards to women who are indecisive it is the fear of making a decision that may result in a mistake that makes them this way. Women will spend hours, days, weeks and months mooting over a decision and when time has ran out, turn to a man (best to let him be the fall guy, hehe) or somebody else and say “you decide” or even worse, end up doing nothing at all!

Men will go head first, with as little as a 10 seconds analysis on a matter and don’t give a monkey’s if the decision ends in a mistake being made. If their decision ends in “getting it wrong’ they’ll simply laugh it off, blag it off and then trundle down to the pub for a few jars and brag and joke about how they messed up today. The bad result would not cause one single bead of sweat to break out of their non worrying foreheads, or one single heart beat to become irregular. Jobs a good ‘un, even if its a bad ‘un, moving on, mine’s a Stella.

Not so the case for us females. Our fear of getting things wrong wouldn’t allow us to make a decision any way, but if for some bizarre reason, like the planets were aligned in a particular way, or our hormones were behaving badly and we actually dared to make a decision and if then it all went Pete Tong, then we wouldn’t even wait for the crucifixion, we’d just do a D.I.Y job on ourselves. We know what’s coming. Death and damnation!

Its no wonder we are seen as bad decision makers. Its not that we don’t know what decision to make, its that we don’t have the confidence to make it. Also, we are always thinking of how it will effect absolutely everybody we know, instead of just focusing on getting a good result for the task at hand.

So, after I lived my teens and early twenties not even daring to breath in the wrong direction I realized despite all of my planning and avoiding any possibilities that may lead me to making a mistake, I discovered that I hadn’t actually got anyway. What? How on earth could this happen? I planned my life and executed it like Napoleon. I was diligent in my evasion of anything that may bring me in contact with anything or anyone that may take me on a route to making a mistake. I did not deviate a millimeter from my plan. How can I still be nowhere? This can’t be right. I am totally miffed and dumbstruck!

Well, like Napoleon, in spite of all of my martial tack, it all went wrong in the end because I was still had not reached my goals. Hang on a minute....I haven’t reached my I have not managed to achieve my desired results. Something isn’t right here.....? (beads of sweat, heart beat racing...). This looks like......oh I can’t say it......don’t make me say it.....noooooooo......a......a....mistake! Oh my God! I’ve made a mistake! Somebody call me a medic, I think I am going to have a sesia!

Whilst semi comatose I had an epiphany. A moment of satori. All of my mistake dodging I had been doing in my life and my fear of making any kind of a smidgen of a mistake had lead me to the very place I was trying to avoid. Mistakesville, population..too many to count! All of the effort I put into not getting it wrong was about as successful as the Titanic and in all truths, I felt about as sunk as the Titanic as well!

How did I get here? I’ll tell you how. FEAR! Fear of getting things wrong and making mistakes that would in turn bring judgment and condemnation from family, peers and the entire world (or at least the western bits of it!). As females our complete character is in question when we mess up. We can’t just make a mistake and say “Oh well, shit happens. Never mind, we all make mistakes. Let’s forget about it and move on.”

Impossible for us. It’s never forgotten and we don’t move on, or other people don’t. It is a mark on our life report card that just never goes away. Every move a woman makes is monitored, commented on and more than often criticized and more heavily than our opposite gender. Knowing this, which females are going to be in any hurray to do anything and make any decision that may result in a mistake?

So, yeah, back to me being comatose, re-evaluating my life and how I had duped myself into a prison of fear of potential mistakes, (still no sign of a dishy medic by the way!) so I decided that things are obviously going to have to change. I felt played out by society, but mostly played out by myself and I was not prepared to continue the rest of my life living in fear.

In that moment I dropped the fear which had previously weighed me down like a pregnant elephant expecting twins right off my back. I decided that if I mess up, make a mistake, get things wrong then so what. If anybody wants to criticize me for any mistakes, then so what again. I will take a path, direction or opportunity that doesn´t look perfect and if it has any dangers to it, then all the better because win or lose I learn and I grow.

That very decision in that moment changed my life forever! The feeling I had was wondrously spiritual! I knew rudimentally from this point things were going to be very different indeed.

The truth is, as a woman you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. No matter what you do good, bad or indifferent you are always going to be wrong or at fault to somebody. This reality should give us the feeling of being boundless with freedom. It should make us fly and sour the heavens, be brave like warriors of adventure wearing T-shirts with slogans that say “Who dares Wins!” We should be fearless ninjas, ninjaing our way through obstacles most people would run to the hills from.

If there are only errors unless you don’t correct them then they become mistakes, no matter what we do, as long as we make it right and learn from it, we won’t be making any mistakes at all. You can say oops...I did it again, as many times as you want, without fear of failure.

Now as a fully fledged grown up (grown up, as if! hehe) I don’t have the fear I had previously in my life about making mistakes. I actually enjoy the odd error because I learn more from them than when I seemingly get things right. The fear of making mistakes stopped me from doing a lot things. It stopped me from learning, it stopped me from experiencing which inevitably stop me from true living.

If you have made any errors, you still have time to correct them before they turn into mistakes. If you have allowed them to become mistakes, don’t beat yourself up about it, just treat them as a learning curve and do your best not to have to repeat the lesson by allowing the mistake to occur again.

Mistakes made by decisions made with your career, your friendships, relationships (hello! we’ve all been there on this one!), holidays, relocating, health issues, the red dress or the black dress......we are always going to have to make decisions so we should never hide from them.

Put on your best running shoes, take the ball that is your decision, aim for the result that is the goal, shoot with all your might and all your faith and if you score, whoopee! If you miss, take a free shot. You have as many free shots as you want. It’s better to be in the game that is life and miss some goals than to be sitting on the sidelines only watching and being too scared to come on the pitch. Nobody scores anything from the sidelines!

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