We might be seen as brilliant people who have it together and accomplish great things on a regular basis but it is time to come clean – we do stupid things. We’re human.
I’m going to use this moment to share some personal details of my life with you. By personal, I mean, I really don’t want to share them, but I will.
I do stupid things (sometimes).
Stupid Moment #1. I was 18 and I felt free! I was free of my parents rule. I was free of my boyfriend (for the moment) and I was going to do something to mark this momentous feeling of freedom. I was going to get a tattoo! Why? Because my dear friend and cousin was going to go get some work done on her ink and that seemed like a pretty decent plan to me. I don’t take long to make decisions. I like to make my call, get things done and move on. This isn’t a great asset when in a tattoo shop and shopping for your own future tattoo. I saw some Japanese characters on the wall and picked one out that meant “flower” – how perfect! My name is Jasmine; I was named after the Jasmine flower. Awesome.
“Sir, I’ll take this one.”
Within the hour I was leaving the tattoo shop with a character on the back of my neck (because who would ever see it there?) that meant “flower.”
I wore my hair long for many years and only recently have I started to sport a much shorter style. My tattoo is now exposed at all times. Twice, I was approached by two different people fluent in Chinese asking about my tattoo. Both parties unrelated and both telling me my tattoo means something other than flower. It doesn’t mean broccoli beef or kung pao chicken. It does mean China. My tattoo, on a Mexi-German, means that I am proud and cherish China?
Stupid Moment #2. I recently rented a dress for a big gala event from Rent the Runway. I was the event coordinator and super busy with event preparations and I realized I needed to get a dress and fast! A friend recommended I try RentTheRunway.com, so I did! I found a beautiful gown, got a second size free and they styled my jewelry for an extra $15. Awesome. The dress came, I rocked it and then I sent it back. Only days later I was receiving notices about the dress being late. It’s not back yet, you owe 5% of the gowns retail price (Badgely Mishka) per day. Per gown. What? I sent that sucker back; what are you talking about. After receiving the notice the dress was received back safe and sound I calmed and forgot about it. Only then a few days later I received a note that I was charged the late fee for the dress of $285. Wha-wha-whaaaat?! I could have bought like three gowns by the time this purchase was all said and done. What happened?
After looking deeper at the fine print (and more obvious print that I just didn’t get in my hurried haste to purchase) I found that the date I sent the dress back was actually the date the dress was due. WTF? My bad. I was in such a rush and so distracted by the 1,000 (literally the list is that long) other things I had to do that I just didn’t really absorb the facts at the time of purchase and I paid the price (again, literally).
So what can we all learn from my stupidity?
Why do people make mistakes?
We’re human. Yes, flesh and blood. We aren’t programmed robots. Eventually we’ll mess something up. That is why erasers still exist. So give yourself a break and never make the same mistake twice.
We’re in a hurry. We are busy people. Most of us are rushing around trying to do the jobs of three people, feed kids, satisfy husbands, spend time with girlfriends and we’re all trying to get it all done today. Chill. Perhaps if I would have slowed down I could have saved those hundreds of dollars for something a little more satisfying. Step back and look at the big picture, then move in and look at the fine print. Get the facts. Understand what you are about to jump into. Take a night to think on it. A lot can be avoided if we just slow down a bit.
We’re distracted. Kids are screaming, deadlines are pushing up against you, the phone is ringing, did I remember to turn on the crock pot, my in-laws are flying in tomorrow – did we put clean sheets on their bed and oh, I can’t forget to water the plants and book that flight and text the team about the changes to the agenda for tomorrow and what was I just doing? (Twenty minutes later) Oh! I was going to go change the light bulb in the upstairs bathroom.
There is so much noise surrounding us. Keep a list, prioritize it, and then relax. You have to get it down on your master list and revisit it when it’s time. While you are trying to enjoy a quiet moment at home with your honey, it’s probably not a good time to text the team or water the plants.
We’re uneducated. We think we are making the right call but we just don’t know any better. I’m sporting a typo on my neck! I had no idea and I still have no idea what the character for flower or China look like. If you don’t know, get educated before your make your decision. You could avoid a lot of permanent (or costly) errors by finding out a little more before you move forward.
I’m guessing you aren’t sporting a tattoo that means something completely different that you thought or you spent hundreds on a gown rental but you did have a bonehead moment, at some point in your life. I assure you that no human being is immune to these moments. Maybe we aren’t all honest and open about the stupid stuff we do, because, let’s face it, it’s embarrassing, but we do. I’m inviting you to open up and share here. Come clean, it feels pretty good once you get past that initial red-faced moment.
Don’t beat yourself up about it. Course correct. Do what you can and move forward.