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Risking failure by trying something new

Computer Graphics class

Tonight at 6:00 p.m. I will be sitting in a chair for three hours and fifteen minutes learning a new skill, Computer Graphics. Computers are not my friend. Well, they may be my friend. But I am scared of them.

I may hit a wrong button and lose everything I just did on the computer. I may not remember what the teacher said and not be able to complete the course.

A red crayon feels more comfortable in my hand than a computer mouse.

Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.
-Unknown quotes

My mother walked me to my first day of school in first grade at Henry Kelsey Public School in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1966. Because it was the first day, we were allowed to walk in the front door of the school. After the first day, the students were only allowed to enter through the back of the building.

I can still remember walking on the sidewalk in front of the school on the first day of first grade. A brief intense memory in years of vague images. Staring at my new shoes on the sidewalk. Remembering walking through the door. My mother holding it open for me.

Then in the video clip in my mind, I am sitting against the back wall of the auditorium holding tightly to my wooden twelve-inch ruler, watching my mother’s back as she walked away. I was alone.

My mother is not here to walk in the front door of the school with me tonight. It has been years since my mother drove me anywhere. I have had my driver’s license for 39 years. The last time my mother and I saw each other was over three years ago.

But somehow, today, as I get ready for my first day of class at the community college, I remember my mother. And I realise I am not really alone. My mother believes in me. Her voice is in my head telling me, “I believe in you.”

I will risk failure. I will try.

The greatest failure is the failure to try.
William Ward

Is there something new you want to try? Are you are afraid to fail? 

I believe in you.



About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • K’Lee Banks

    Hi – stopping by from the UBC and Facebook. Thanks for a very vivid picture of special memories you have about your Mom. I just blogged yesterday and reflected on my Mom, who passed away two years ago, on July 7, 2011.

    I also just revived a series of posts on facing our fears and moving forward – and yours is not the first blog I’ve come across that also is discussing similar topics. Interesting…

    My primary “something new” right now is the dissertation phase of my Ed.D. program – it’s quite intense, and the part that scares me the most is still a couple years away, but that part would be … defending my dissertation!

  • Lorelai Victoria

    Could have, Might have, Should have…love that quote! Take the red crayon and draw a tiny happy face on the computer somewhere. It will make your new friend seem a little nicer! Good luck on the graphics class. 🙂

    Life With Lorelai

  • Alana Mautone

    You brought back “first day of school” memories for me, too – specially, junior high (what we now call Middle School). It was quite a change, and I was terrified. But it didn’t take long to adjust. I can still be resistant to change but I now know (usually) not to be afraid of failure – or of asking for help!

  • I only wish I had a brand new pencil to send with you for your first day. I believe the new school supplies were for nervous children. Or how about the satchel’s we used to have. Mine was red plaid. Wow, that memory just flew in from nowhere. I’ll be thinking of you tonight. You can do this. I believe in you too.

    • Thank you Ann for your encouragement. I didn’t pass out in class or make a fool of myself tonight, and I even answered a question.
      Do you have a photograph of your red plaid satchel? Funny how the memory just flew into your head.

      • Pamela,

        No, I don’t. I remember a blue one we also had one year. They had a zipper part where you could put in a few pencils. And there were two straps on it and a little handle. I’ll have to see if I can find a picture so you can see. I know I have no photographs of it.

        I can remember the smell though. Isn’t that funny.

        I can also remember the smell of a new doll.


  • Great encouragement, Pamela. Currently came to the conclusion that I need to do just that. I need to practice failing in some area of my life and realize that it’s not going to kill me. Weird how I’ve learned this is some areas but not in other areas.

    • Thank you Eileen. I just got back from my Computer Graphics class and I am still alive. Amazing.

  • Thank you for the encouraging post Pamela! Two of the things I want to learn are surfing and paddleboarding. As I have gotten older, I have learned that failure is not failure, just a different result that I can learn from.

    • You are very welcome Annette. Surfing and paddleboarding sound so fun. I like what you said, “Failure is not failure, just a different result to learn from.”

  • Yes! I want to learn how to ride a motorcycle and get one. Maybe a Harley, although James thinks they’re not cool. So proud of you for taking computer graphics, you will be a graphic design star!!! Yay you!

    • Oh how exciting. You could even wear leather on your Harley. Very cool.
      Thank you for your vote of confidence with my new class. 🙂