Saturday, July 16, 2011

My Mistakes


Why keep time traveling if it doesn't get better on me the second time around?-Eleanor Friedberger

I used to take ballet at a studio where they had a big poster with random rules to live by. One of the rules was that there are no mistakes in life, only lessons, and you will keep getting the same lesson until you learn it, at which point, you will proceed to the next lesson (I know this is a variation on a Mark Twain quote as well as one of the key points made by many self-help motivational speakers). While I certainly agree with this assessment, I am never sure how successful we humans are at learning from mistakes. In my experience, it seems like we keep going back and doing the same thing over and over again with small variations in the hope that we will hit upon the magic combination of circumstances which will turn that mistake into a win. Or we keep going back to the past and reliving it, worrying over the details, wondering if we could have prevented the mistake from ever having occurred.

I love this video because it feels so familiar to me. I remember hitting a tennis ball against a wall as a kid and watching Eleanor Friedberger do it makes me want to run out to the alley with a racket right now. It also made me think of La Boum, that film I was forced to watch in French class a few years in a row (I think the teachers had the misguided idea that teen movies were an excellent way of luring us into the magic of the French language) though it really bears no resemblance to the film whatsoever. But what I love most of all is how it shows the passage of time, how we can keep the dresses of our youth, wondering if things could have turned out differently if only we had worn the dress with different shoes, only to realize we are pretty happy with the way things turned out after all.

Be warned, this song is seriously awesome. If you aren't careful, you will find yourself bouncing around and singing it.

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