IMPORTANT WEEKEND QUESTION: When Was A Time You Failed -- And How Did You Deal?

In the past few years, I've really internalized the idea that "Rejection is God's protection."
Publish date:
September 6, 2015
failure, radio, Garfunkel And Oates

I'm not a big failer. Partly because I've always been a huge nerdo-saurus who was naturally good at school stuff, and also because I'm one of those people who just doesn't really do things I'm not good at right away.

Like, I once took a self-defense-oriented karate class for women and even though I intellectually know it takes time to learn how to do something you've never done before, I couldn't stand the discomfort of not being good at it and quit after 2 or 3 classes. Quitting is an easy way to not fail.

Of course, I've had disappointments along the way -- a few jobs not gotten, book ideas not sold, sites that folded, and for some reason I wanted to go to an advanced math and science school in high school, even though I obviously was supposed to be involved in writing or language in some way and sucked at math. I think I had somehow gotten the twisted idea that if something came easy for you, you should be trying something harder. Anyway, I didn't get in. But those are all far enough in the background that I don't really feel the sting anymore.

In the past few years, I've really internalized the idea that "rejection is God's protection." That first book I tried to sell, back in my early 20s? Not a subject I'd want to be known for now. Math and science school? I would have drowned.

I don't know if it's the biggest failure in my life, but I did recently experience the somewhat public disappointment of not having my Sirius show, "The Overshare," get picked up after a 6-episode demo.

Having my own radio show had been a long-time dream -- I'd met with Sirius before about it actually, but this time everything went really smoothly and everyone right up to the top seemed excited about my potential as a radio personality. I was told that they wanted me to bring "smart women's content" for a younger demographic and that they were confident in my ability to do so.

After my 6-week "demo," I was told that Sirius wouldn't be picking up my show, which I hadn't really expected since I thought I'd done well and had received a lot of positive feedback.

As usual, there were upsides and downsides. Doing the show was a lot of work and took up most of one of my non-parenting evenings. But I can't say it didn't sting to find out the station didn't want me. I was told it was related budget and restructuring issues, and whether that's true or not, I still felt that I had failed.

I took about a week to wallow, during which I binge-watched episodes of "Garfunkel and Oates," available on Netflix. The show, which originally aired on IFC, is about a singing comedy duo and their womanchild-ish lives, sort of like a sweeter "Broad City." Although it's a good show, it only got one season, the last episode of which included the following song.

I'm not sure if the stars knew they weren't being renewed and included this song as a commentary on that or if it's coincidental, but I found it super-comforting and have since sent it to several friends during times of "failure."

Let's talk failure in the comments. When was a time in your life when you failed at something or didn't get something you badly wanted? How did you deal? And did it turn out to be for the best in the end, as it so often seems to?