Years ago, I was a shy, insecure young adult living in Boston, Massachusetts.

On the outside, I appeared somewhat confident.

But I wasn’t.

Confidence was something others had. I definitely wanted more of it.

But I wasn’t sure how. out world here i come

I don’t remember much about my time in Boston – I only lived there about six months – but there is one incident that’s never left me.

One day, I went to the Boston Public Library.

As I entered the lobby, a young woman was walking toward me, book in hand. As she stepped past me, she tripped and fell.

This wasn’t just a little wobble.

She fell hard.

It was a fall that would be, to most people, totally embarrassing.

But what did this young woman – who was about my age – do?

She laughed.

blog.woman is falling and happy about it

And not a fake laugh.

She genuinely thought it was hilarious that she had fallen.

Still chuckling to herself, she picked herself up and walked out of the library.

And though I never saw her again, she never left my mind.

blog.person falling in mind

At the time, I was blown away by her response.

If I had fallen like that – in a public place, surrounded by countless onlookers – I would have picked myself up and fled the scene as quickly as possible.

Laughing at what had happened?!

No way!

It was totally outside of my repertoire to respond in such a manner.

blog.four different emotions

But even though I was sure I could never be a Laughing Faller, I had seen an example that it could be done.

Years went by, and confidence and I gradually became acquainted.

I went to therapy. I started a spiritual practice. I began to love and accept myself more and more each day.

Every now and then I would think about the Laughing Faller, still marveling over her confidence.

And then it happened.

The other day, while on my morning walk, I tripped and fell.

As I was going down, I was aware of my lurching body and spastic limbs. It struck me as funny.

So I laughed.

Then I picked myself up – unhurt, luckily – and kept going.

It wasn’t until I got home that I realized what had happened.

I had become a Laughing Faller!

Was it the image I’d carried with me all those years that helped me get there?

Was it the years of self exploration and growth?

Or was it simply the passing of time, allowing me to take myself less seriously?

I’m not sure.

I’m just grateful that, even though it took me years to get there, I am finally on the same team as my long-ago role model.

I imagine her now, back in Boston, a middle-aged woman, still falling and laughing all over the city.

And I thank her.

blog.woman falling all over the place

Who are your failure role models? Share your comments below!

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