“We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.”
― Bob Ross
We can be pretty hard on ourselves, can’t we? I’m not sure why but in an essence, I think it’s because of how society functions. You’ll be told that no one is perfect and that’s exactly how it should be. But then again, it’s still perfection-obsessed whether we like it or not and a lot of the time, people are identified for something they’ve done wrong. Let’s admit it, mistakes make for juicer gossip sessions. Having a misstep can be an agonizing experience for a lot of us but if you know about me and my blog, you know I prefer changing perspective.
Over the course of about a year now, I’ve started considering my mistakes as ‘happy little accidents’. Quite a lovely way of putting something we don’t exactly appreciate, don’t you think? It all begun when I got really into an art class I was taking my senior year, it changed me in more ways than one honestly. As a full form perfectionist, I put my all in to anything assigned, be it the smallest of tasks. Art was always something that I enjoyed although I never dove deep into it as a full fledged hobby but regardless, my school admired my work and nominated me for a scholarship in a top art school in the States.
I was thrilled but terrified. I would be working towards a portfolio in a very short amount of time against kids who had mastered the craft from a very young age. Regardless of all my worries, I was a confused senior who hadn’t much of an idea what to pursue or where she was going, I needed to run into something headfirst in hopes of it pushing me in the right direction, even if my hands were covering my eyes in fear of mistakes.
I worked on my portfolio slowly and steady leaving no room for error along the way but the more I took my time, the more I noticed I had more to catch up on. My center piece, a recreation of van Gogh’s Cafe Terrace at Night, was still unfinished. My art teacher urged me to take it home for finishing and reluctantly, I did. I’ll always remember the happiness I felt while working on this piece, it was a genuine calmness I’ve never really felt before considering I was always painting in a noisy classroom. I remember I even made a few blunders through working but they made the piece so unique, so me! At the end of the day, my choices and missteps are what makes me myself and that should be addressed in a more positive light. It was at the moment that I remembered Bob Ross calling mistakes ‘happy little accidents’ throughout his painting tutorials.
I submitted all my artwork on time and with the biggest feeling of accomplishment ever! Indeed, I did get a huge scholarship because of it but oddly enough, I ended up on the other side of the world with a completely different major. I do believe in everything happening for a reason and this whole experience really helped shape me today. I know a lot of the mistakes we make aren’t just going to be about something as silly as a painting but I believe it’s the same idea.
Consider this, you will be CONSTANTLY making mistakes whether you’re careful or not. Choosing to accept them, move on, and learn is the heavy aspect of it all. It’s difficult, anxiety and our worry of the people around us will consistently get in the way but with experience and the right perspective, your past will set you free. Keep looking forward regardless of your circumstances and oversights, things are looking up and the future is bright! I believe in you always.