Yesterday, I placed a copy of my new book Always a Bridesmaid – For Hire in the hands of my best friend, Ray. He’s 86. I met him two years ago when I was having one of those moments in life when you just feel like tossing your cell phone out the window, packing a bag, and giving up on everything to hide in a cave somewhere far away. I went on a hunt for free business mentors in NYC & somehow, in some way, I was matched with Ray. I met him early on a Saturday in the very back of a public library. He Instantly made me drop my “act” and admit what was really going on in my life. Ray is the person who taught me that failure (in a very strange way) equals success and that you can whine and complain about the different ways life kicks you in tush or you can find a way to stand up tall and fight forward, fight on.
I see Ray almost every Saturday, and we chat until our coffee cups are empty or until the library kicks us out for laughing too loud. Ray knows when i’m bluffing, when I’m not telling him the truth.
“You don’t look so good,” he said to me, yesterday. I didn’t feel so great.
“I’m just scared,” I said. I tell Ray everything. He knows about every bad date I’ve been on – every personal problem that I don’t have the guts to confess to anyone else – even a therapist.
“Enough,” he said. “What’s the worst that will happen?” Nobody will buy your book? You’ll never write another one?”
“Yes,” I admitted. “Yes, that’s my fear.”
Ray moved his chair closer to mine and raised his voice, loud enough that the entire bottom floor of the library could hear our little jib-jab of a conversation.
“Who the hell cares?” He said with anger, before letting out a loud laugh. “It’s called controlled failure. As your falling on your face, think of a back-up plan.”
“I like that phrase,” I said, eyeballing the onlookers, wondering what they must be wondering about us.
“The phrase is meaningless,” he scuffed, slamming his hand on the table to wake me up. “Unless you actually do it.”
There is an entire chapter about Ray in the book and a paragraph about him in the acknowledgements. He’ll never know how much he’s changed my life – but he has. He has made me stop feeling bad for myself, when I do, and has taught me to start living like I’m 86 & don’t have time to flirt with “what ifs”
PS. Grab your copy of the book here: