I used to hold very high standards for my life. When I was little, I couldn’t wait to grow up because that would mean people would treat me like an adult. First, I couldn’t wait to go to Middle School (we called it Junior High School when I went through it) because they all looked so old and mature; but when I got there, nothing had changed.

Then, I couldn’t wait to get into the Senior High School because those people all looked so much older and acted so much more mature. Certainly things would be different once I reached that level. Yet, just like Middle School, when I got there nothing had changed.

Then, of course, while in Senior High School, I couldn’t wait to graduate and get out into the world amongst the real adults in life. These were the people who ran businesses, had children of their own, bought homes, drove cars, made their own money and saved for retirement. These were the people who certainly no longer fought and bickered over childish things; who didn’t call each other childish names, and always told the truth because that was what adults did.

Oh, boy…

It was as if Life was greeting me with one disappointment after another.

But it wasn’t just about growing up and joining the group of adults. I was setting standards for myself – standards that I thought (at the time) were attainable with a little spit and hard work. You know – a 10 bedroom, 5 bathroom home with a 3-car garage all sitting on about an acre of manicured lawns and planting beds; a cool million in liquid funds to spend as I wished; a job that I enjoyed so much I never stopped working because it was naturally a part of my life; and living with the man of my dreams whom I loved and adored, and who loved and adored me. Oh! And the most amazing health the medical arena around the world would always look to me to see how everything should be.

Needless to say, I failed on most of those points, just like I failed (miserably) every time I made the leap from childhood to adulthood, only to find I’d remained in childhood – just in a larger body. I failed, miserably, in securing that elaborate house and grounds. I left home to live in a hotel room with friends (yes, you read that right…) then from apartment to apartment to apartment. It wasn’t until I’d turned … um … 29, yeah, that’s it!… that I bought my first house and it’s far from perfection; but it’s mine. I also failed having that cool million stashed away for spending; but at least I have enough to pay my bills without starving. I failed at finding that job I’d work day-in and day-out because it was intrinsically a part of my life – THANK GOD!!!! What was I thinking??? – but I do have a job that I love.

Finally, I failed miserably finding that one person, love, loved, adore, adored, blah blah blah – that is, I failed miserably many times until the one that really did matter came into my life.

I guess what I’m really trying to say in all this, is that yes – we set up so many standards and goals in our lives even from when we’re very little. I honestly think society, the media, our friends, family, schools all teach us this is what we need to do in our lives. We’re always shown the “perfect life” and subconsciously told we have to attain that, not taking into consideration that model of life might not be tailored to our true needs. So, what we may see as failure (no matter how miserable of a failure we may see it), that is the tailoring being done to our hopes, dreams, aspirations, and standards.

But that’s the other good thing about us failing to live up to our own standards – they’re our standards. If we can’t make them, we have the prerogative of changing them. So then life really isn’t about failing; its about succeeding incrementally until one day when you turn around, look behind you, and see the success that is your life.

Oh! And by the way? I’m still looking for that group of adults. If you find them, let me know.