I’ve always said that if I were to publish an autobiography, it would be called, “Whoops, My Bad.” while I probably haven’t messed up nearly as badly as some people, I’ve definitely had my fair share of, “What the hell was I thinking” moments.
Mistakes are interesting. You constantly hear that everyone makes them, but you still get in trouble for ones that you make. And most of the time when you look back at them, you can see that it was a terrible decision. But I mean, hindsight is 20/20 and all that.
I can remember one of my earliest screw-ups. (Well, early screw-up that I deliberately executed, not like when you stick your finger in an electric socket at age 4. Mistake? Yes. Deliberate? Not so much.) I was in 4th or 5th grade, and once a week, I attended a class for ‘gifted’ children. We were just a group of kids that had done well on this weird test in 3rd grade. I guess they were grooming us to be the next leaders of the free world. Anyways, this class was at another school, so we’d be bused over in the morning, do Sudoku and cryptograms all day, and then be shipped back just in time for our parents to pick us up. That day in class, we were working with glitter. Why? No idea. Seems like a big lapse in judgement to give a bunch of 10-year-old’s glitter. We were given free reign with this stuff so, as all young children do, I decided to dump it everywhere. I mixed a ton of colors together, creating this brownish monstrosity of a pile on the table in front of me. I then found an empty glitter tube and scooped it all in there. I was very proud of myself, feeling like a creative, inventive youth with a future in glitter creation. When it was time to return our supplies and pack up for the day, I was heartbroken by the idea that I had to return the crime scene of sparkle that I had created, so I did the most logical thing that my tiny brain could think of: I stole it.
Now, while stealing a small tube of glitter may not seem like a big deal now, it was huge then. I was a thief! And not like a Robin Hood, take from rich to give to poor thief. I was a selfish thief. I was also a stereotypical ‘good kid’. Good grades, did chores, etc. My heart was racing all the way back to my school, afraid the teacher would realize what I had done and would call the police, or worse: my parents. But as I climbed into my babysitters car after school, I was feeling good. 1. I didn’t get caught and 2. I had a brand new tube of some badass glitter. I continued to ride my thieving high , as my mom picked me up from my sitter’s, took me home, and began settling in for the night. Everything was great until about 6. My stepdad comes into the room and says that my sitter had found a trail of glitter from her car to her house. I had literally left a trail of crime in my path. Apparently the bottle had spilled open in my bag and been leaking since I’d been picked up from school. After that, I quickly admitted my crime. I’d done it. I was the glitter snatcher. I was scolded, punished and mentally convinced that I would never break a rule again (I broke many, but those are for other posts.)
All-in-all, it wasn’t the worst theft ever. I didn’t steal money, or an item from a store. But I had messed up. Betrayed people’s trust, etc. I had to go to my teacher and admit my crime (which she really didn’t give a shit about, but whatever). And while the experience taught me some things, did it teach me to stop making mistakes? Not at all. A lot of mistakes are super fun to make. They lead to memories, lessons learned and some great adrenaline rushes. So here’s to my thieving 10-year-old self, and to all the mistakes I made after that.