This past weekend, I gave a Failure Lab presentation on the most terrible and dark time in my life:
I was living as a female; people knew me by my deadname. I was in a terribly abusive and controlling relationship. I hated my bullshit corporate job but I would find any excuse to work late just to avoid going home. We drank a lot and were completely broke. I lost all of my friends and family because it wasn’t worth the fight it would cause when I got home.
I was miserable, embarrassed, and disappointed in myself.
As I prepped to give this speech on such an intimate topic, in front of a bunch of strangers, I was scared shitless. I tried to conjure up any excuse that might get me out of having to do it. As I sat in the green room, I’m pretty sure my heart was beating at 7,000 beats per minute while I drank buttershots and convinced myself not to run for the hills.
Once I got up on stage, it was almost therapeutic. Something about sharing this story with a room full of complete strangers was actually so enjoyable. I felt relieved.
Anyways, this presentation forced me to think critically about this pivotal time in my life, and here’s what I learned:
4 Things I Learned From This Experience
- Ask Questions. If you find yourself having strange thoughts, whether they relate to your gender, career, geographical location, or anything else, you need to ask questions about them. No thought is too crazy to do some research and learn more. If you’re mind is thinking about it, it’s probably for good reason. Figure out what that reason is.
- Get Rid of Negativity. If something is causing you stress and grief every day of your life, ditch it. Stop wasting your time trying to fix things and people that are so inherently negative. Ditch them and something or someone more positive will make their way into your life.
- Be Proactive and Stop Wasting Time. Stop waiting for things to just miraculously happen to you in life. The dream job, the nice house, that happy stage… You’re not going to miraculously come across happiness and success, so stop sitting there waiting for these things to miraculously appear out of thin air. You have to take action, and sometimes that means making bold decisions.
- Be Yourself. My biggest failure in life was not being my authentic self. I let myself be stuck in a shitty job, shitty relationship, and shitty apartment. I let myself be controlled. I lost friends and family because I was too chicken shit to admit how much I value those things. Fuck that. Be who you are, go after what you want, and don’t let anyone stop you from that.
Here’s the Full Talk
If you want to catch my Failure Lab talk, here’s a link to the full video.