I was in Kabul, Afghanistan the first time I ever heard it. I was the U.S International Military Police(IMP) NCOIC for a small base called RSHQ. We were located next to the U.S Embassy in the green zone. The whole base was so small that you could probably toss a stone from one end to the other. Well you would need one hell of an arm, but you get me.
When the alarms would sound, all the IMPs would have to sprint down to the Military Police Station and kit up. We could be there is less than 4-5 minutes or so. That’s with our barracks located on the complete opposite side of the MP Station.
RS was an extremely small base. There wasn’t allot that went on while I was there. We dealt with hundreds of Police Reports. The majority of them were extremely petty. The whole my roommate said this, or he stole that. I was extremely surprised on how many military members left their weapons unsecured in public places. I was even more surprised on the number of negligent discharges that occurred on base as well. We unfortunately had a Puma Helicopter crash land in the center of the base, killing both US and NATO members. That is a whole other story that one of these days I will get too. He had a few insider threats that launched larger investigations. But overall the 11-month deployment was rather seamless.
I would spend the majority of my time at the gym or at the IMP station. We had one unsecured computer that we shared that had internet. I was constantly on YouTube. Anything from music videos to pod casts.
For a while I was spending every morning listening to the 2016 presidential election. I wanted the republicans to take back the house so badly. Yes, that means supporting Donald Trump. Anyone but Hillary.
Towards the end of my tour I began creating a vision book. I spent all my time listening to motivational pod cast and speeches. One of the motivational speeches I came across was by Denzel Washington. He was conducting the commencement speech for the University of Pennsylvania in 2011. That is when I heard Fall Forward for the first time. It stuck…
I remember stopping what I was doing and wrote it down. I listened to the motivational speech more intently. He went on saying that people don’t remember the losses, they remember the wins. He stated the didn’t understand why people feel the need to have a fall back plan. He doesn’t want to go backwards; he wants to go forward. Fall Forward. He shared a few personal experiences in the acting world. He went to an audition for theater. Needless to say, he didn’t make the cut, but he didn’t give up. He prepared for the next audition. 30 years later he performed on that same stage.
Everyone will fail in life. If you do not fail, you are not trying. The thing is, it’s okay to fail. It is okay to start over. It is okay to completely suck. Take the experiences and learn from them.
If I let my failures weigh me down, I would be a flat as a pancake about now. And I am still learning this. I have to actively find the lesson in each situation I am faced with. Some are worse than others. Here are my stories. I choose to share them with you in hope to spark something in at least one person.
It is okay to fall. Just learn to Fall Forward.