I believe in Mistakes

Cole - Ashburnham, Massachusetts
Entered on March 3, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: setbacks

As I was trying to figure out a topic that I believed in that wasn’t completely cliché, I found myself going over the best memories I had made in my short time here. A lot of them weren’t exactly the way they were planned out to be or the memory of laughing so hard that I had tears rolling down my cheeks was simply because one of us had misheard something. After thinking about this for a while I came to the decision that making a mistake is one of the best ways to make a lasting memory. It seems cliché, but I guess that’s why clichés exist; they’ve stayed true over time and apply to a lot of people.

When I went to Spain last year, the best times I had were during our free time when a few friends and I would just walk as far as we could and look for little back alleys and hole-in-the-wall shops. One time in particular I remember when we had about 3 hours of free time in Barcelona. Two other people and I started weaving in and out of the back alleys and ended up about a mile and a half away from where we started and we had no idea where we were or how to get back. We spent the rest of the time trying to retrace our steps or find the main road; even though we were lost in a foreign country where none of us spoke the language too well I don’t think I’ll ever forget that because it was still a really fun time.

I believe that life, despite how long it may seem right now, is far too short to even imagine trying to live it perfectly. I believe in trying new things and screwing up on them, as long as no major laws are broken no one will care, and if they do care, it’s probably one of the people who have had a daily plan since they were four and haven’t strayed from that at all. I believe that the way to make a good memory great is to look at what you know is the safe route, and do something to make it a little more interesting whether it be taking a shortcut you’ve never been on or ditching that route all together and taking a road you didn’t even know existed. Even if the mistake doesn’t turn out to be that great of a thing, it will more than likely teach me something which is never a bad thing.

So the way I see it, a mistake can make a memory last forever whether it’s just mishearing a friend and laughing about it until you’re crying or getting lost in a foreign country where you just realized despite going through 5 semesters of the language you just plain suck at speaking it. In a world so dependent on schedules, plans, and perfection, I believe it is necessary to make a mistake.