Letting go isn't failure.

31 Lessons from an Epic Beginner // 24: Letting go isn't failure.

Day 24 of 31 Lessons from an Epic Beginner

To wrap up the last few days talking about failure, I feel like you should know there is at least one thing that isn't failure: Letting go.

Whatever your reasons may be, it is okay to decide something isn't for you. It's okay to grow out of it, not be good at it, decide it's not a good fit. And when that happens, it needs to be let go.


E-bay was still a toddler when my oldest brother helped me bid on a microscope. The final minutes of the auction neared, and with every page refresh the price just keeping inching up. Slowly, my excitement and hope that I could be the winner faded into disappointment. That sweet microscope, with it's special case and all those specimens--butterfly wings and cells, but mostly the butterfly wings--would not belong to me.

As I recall that bidding--even beyond the hype and disappointment--I'm not completely clear why I wanted a microscope so much. Or why I was so excited for the microscope I "won" (that's e-bay code for bought) with far fewer specimens to look at, resting in a fancy wood case. All I can gather is that it might have more to do with the field journal I'd obviously keep than it did with the technical science part of it all. That part was over my head.

And that phase, lasted only a few years of childhood. Just long enough to collect bugs with dad. Enjoy a few experiments. Look at some weird squiggly specimens in a pretty microscope. Jot a few things down about earth and nature in a notebook.


Science nerdy-ness isn't the only phase, the only piece of me, that didn't sit right or that I eventually grew out of. I've mentioned before that my mom and I joined a puppet team at a nearby church, then I moved on when I went away to academy. I loved magic tricks, and learned several with cards and even bought a magic set that I eventually lost interest in.

More recently, I thought I was an outdoorsy adventurer, but found I just really like the outdoors--sitting on a blanket under a tree is good enough for me.

The point is, letting go of an old passion or hobby isn't failure--it's moving on. It's making room for the new, taking a step into an optimistic, even epic future. Is there something you need to let go of or grow out of? I'm giving you permission to do it. No guilt, just freedom to move on.


Answer in the comments:

Share an interest from your past that you have moved on from. (Any other puppeteers or closet science nerds?)

Day 24 of 31 Lessons from an Epic Beginner