Lesson #102: Figuring it out.


A black cat shot out in front of me on my way to class today.

A boy turned to me and said, “Happy Halloween.”

After three hours of sleep, a last minute project that would drop and break two minutes later, and no coffee in hand—that is not how I wanted to start my morning.

I pray that my professors never find this blog, because I’d be in real trouble.

After staying up all night completing an assignment, I was frustrated. Actually frustrated. I started the project within a decent amount of time. I didn’t really procrastinate on it… really. Wasn’t it supposed to be easy?


It was 2am, and it was horrible. I had to construct a telephone. The project was falling apart. It didn’t look like a telephone. It didn’t make any sense. I climbed in bed. I fell asleep as fast as the project fell apart.

I set my alarm for 5am. I jumped up. I looked at my project again. I was mortified. I threw it out, and started something completely new. That idea was bad too. But at that point, I really didn’t care. I just wanted to get through the morning alive.

I did, barely.

I presented my project. Part of it was broken, from the drop onto the hard concrete that busted its edge on the walk over, after the cat. It was a horrible telephone. But my research was good. I think my professor noticed.

Or maybe not.

A similar situation happened later that day.

This is my life.

I was supposed to film a video.

Our original idea was good, in theory.

We went to film it.

It looked horrid.

So we changed it up.

It still looked horrid.

We decided we didn’t care.

‘We’ as in my team decided it would have to do, and I was once again frustrated because I had wasted a good portion of the past 24 hours creating things that turned out less than great.

We kept filming until it finally looked mediocre.

I’m still not sure what the lesson is.

That everything can’t be great? That you can’t get every thing right? That sometimes things will fall apart? That a black cat will run out in front of you, that your project will suck, and that you will have to try a million times before you get it right?

But what if you never do?

What’s the lesson for that?

I’ll tell you.

There is nothing worse than putting your all into something and having it fall apart, or turn out awful.

There is nothing worse than wasted time.

Oh, I’m not going to sit here and tell you there’s no such thing as “wasted time,” because that’s bullshit.


I do think wasted time can be filled with valuable moments.

That is, if you choose to see it.

We can reconstruct things from the pieces that are left behind, that are waiting to be reassembled in a new way.

And if not, we can construct something new.

It may be even better the second time around.

It may not.

But at least it’s done.

And then you know what not to do ever again. You know not what to use, what to avoid, what works, what doesn’t. You know yourself a little bit more. How you react. How you function. How you are problem-solve.

Nothing is worse than wasted time.

But nothing is better than getting it done.

Than figuring it out.

That’s an accomplishment in itself.

Day 102.


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