It's been a anxious couple of a weeks for my family.
Our oldest son, our Corporal, went to North Carolina to try out for Special Forces. He felt like he had to give it a shot, or else spend the rest of his life wondering. I'm not sure of the statistics, but I guess something like 1% of the people enlisted in the military will want to try for Special Forces. Of that 1%, only a handful will be selected TO try, and of that miniscule number, some 10% might make it all the way to being selected for S.F.
So, yeah, our darling Corporal was not one of the tiny fraction of a percent who made it to becoming an Army Ranger. At first I was concerned that he would be very disappointed and maybe feeling like a failure, but I talked to him last night and he sounds good. He's disappointed, sure, but his head seems to be in the right place.
I don't think anyone could really call this a failure. No, he wasn't chosen. Is that the same? I don't think so. When I look back at my own attempts at things, and when I think about all that I didn't do because I was afraid to try, I think even chasing that dream is a success in itself.
Our son's experience has reminded me that I need to be braver. I need to take more chances in life, and go for what I want. He also reminds me that it takes a lot of work to get ready to tackle your dreams. The balance is, it does no good to spend all your time preparing and never take the next step of trying.
Which reminds me: I need to get a proposal ready for the next literary agent.