How I met my mistakes

This year in February or March I started to watch the series that probably many people know – „How I met your mother”. I thought I can practice my listening skills and have a bit of fun while watching this comedy show. I hadn’t expected anything more. However, I was surprised because this series had a lot of influence on me and my way of thinking.

I’m pretty sure when we search for answers then sooner or later they will come. Some answers came to me with HIMYM. However, I just would like to mention only one lesson, but an important one. It was like a turning point to me.

In the 22nd episode of the first season, one of the main characters freaks out because of her upcoming wedding and thinks about things that she’s never done. She always wanted to paint and during the restless nights, she finds an offer of painting course, but far away from New York, where the action of the series takes place, in San Francisco. She wants to go for an exam to see that she has a chance to be part of the painting course. Lily doesn’t say anybody about her plans, but on the way to the exam, her car breaks and she calls for her friend Ted to help her. And when Ted comes and realizes what Lily wants to do, this conversation happens:

Ted: It’s a mistake.

Lily: Okay, yes, it’s a mistake. I know it’s a mistake. But there are certain things in life where you know it’s a mistake, but you don’t really know it’s a mistake. Because the only way to really know it’s a mistake is to make the mistake, and look back, and say, „Yep, that was a mistake.” So, really, the bigger mistake would be to not make the mistake, because then you go your whole life not really knowing if something is a mistake or not. And, damn it, I’ve made no mistakes! I’ve done all of this – my life, my relationship, my career – mistake-free. Does any of this make sense to you?

Ted: I don’t know. You said „mistake” a lot.”

I was embarrassed many times in my life, very often when I was a kid. When I grew up I started to embarrass myself. I was my own private enormous critic. Always with me. Especially when I made mistakes. And a mistake meant a defeat to me. When I look back I see many of them and usually, I thought I should be ashamed of them. But not anymore. I cannot say that one episode from a popular comedy show changed my life but I have to admit that it pushed me to reflect on things which I did and I didn’t do. It came in perfect timing, at the moment when I’ve been thinking if my decisions and plans were right or not. And if they were mistakes then it’s ok. Now I see that every mistake can teach me new things, give a lesson. I can speak imperfect English and Portuguese, I can eat breakfast for dinner, I can miss a bus, I can be shy. My life is no mistake-free and it’s ok.

At the end one more lesson from „How I met your mother”:

Marshall: Ted it’s a mistake.

Ted: Maybe. But it’s a mistake I have to make.

Ted narrator: Here’s the thing about mistakes. Sometimes, even when you know something’s a mistake, you gotta make it anyway.

The biggest lesson that I learned due to the last ten months: It’s ok to make mistakes.

Stella Kołodziejczak
Volunteer at Teatro Metaphora – Associação de Amigos das Artes
European Solidarity Corps  
To know more: https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity_en


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