You know that moment when you get that idea. You know it’s crazy; it’s nothing but a pipe dream. But then you think to yourself, why not? Why not me?
So you push yourself. Physically, mentally, and emotionally to achieve this dream you have within your heart. You research all the ins and outs to determine your actions steps to get you to where you want to be. You try things you’ve never done before all to prepare for that day.
Today. That day you’ve been planning for months and months. It’s not just a dream anymore; it’s within your grasp and you want it.
Nervous energy courses through your veins, dulled by the spark of confidence radiating from your eyes. That glimmer of hope shining through, small, yet palpable. You’re a dreamer and today your dreams will come true.
You look in the mirror and feel beautiful, ready to take on the world. So you go, you perform, and you give it all you’ve got. Your smile lights the room as you do what you’ve prepared months to do.
And then you wait for the results… did you make the team? Did you get the part? Your beating heart creates the back beat for the song that is your thoughts. The results go up and with bated breath you look. You’re sure you made it, but your number isn’t there. You look again, maybe you just didn’t see it the first time… but you didn’t make it.
After all those months of planning, all that time and energy practicing, and the hope you held in those bright blue eyes.
At first it doesn’t seem real, but as reality sinks in the tears begin to fall. You tried so hard! What went wrong? Did you not have the right “look” or was it your performance that was lacking? Maybe it was just tough competition.
Even so, your world feels as if it’s crashing in on itself. All those who supported you try to be comforting, “At least you tried” or “There’s always next year,” but you just want to be alone…
And that’s where I sit now… alone, yet surrounded by people. Just a face in the crowd. I close my eyes and let the sound of the waves calm me, the sun warm my face, and the wind to dry my tears as I reflect on my past and look to the future.
Despite my failure and disappointment, this journey pushed me out of my comfort zone. I defied the box people put me in, I choreographed my own dance routine, and I met some amazing and beautiful women along the way.
Failure is hard though. I’ve failed so many times, but I get back up and that is where true strength lies. “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us.” (Romans 5:3-5a). In spite of my suffering and failure, I know that it shapes me into a stronger person and with that in mind, hope spurs me on.
Someone I really respect once shared a story with me that, though simple, is quite powerful. After a major disappointment, he was sitting in the back of a movie theater watching Iron Man 3. At the very end of the film Iron Man says, “You can take away my suits, you can take away my home, but there’s one thing you can never take away from me: I am Iron Man.” This resonated strongly with him and with me in turn, becoming my new mantra. They can take everything away, but I will keep on dancing, I will continue dreaming big. I am Iron Man!
So as I sit by the waterfront and when the cloud covers the sun, I won’t let my failure determine my future. I will continue to dream bigger and push myself. I am my greatest asset. I am Iron Man.