My name is Jensen McRae, and Tour de Failure is my brainchild. As a college student coming of age in a time completely dominated by social media, I am inundated by the successes of my ambitious peers–for better or for worse. While I have experienced my fair share of successes, I have experienced far, far more failures (although my mother suggests less harsh language, that the only way one can TRULY fail is by not trying…but she’s kind of a hippie).
I posted a Facebook status discussing a recent loss, highlighting how social media is a place where we’re meant to share our big successes rather than our little screw-ups, even though life is mostly little screw-ups. I got to thinking about all those great stories of successful people, and how they can all recall dozens if not hundreds of times where they were passed over, stepped on, or figuratively (or maybe even literally) spit upon. Gorgeous models didn’t get asked to prom. Pulitzer-winning authors couldn’t get their first book published for years or even decades. Prolific musicians had to beg people to come out to their shows until one day they were selling out arenas. Et cetera. I’m obsessed with these stories, because it proves that even what we think of as unshakable truths–Katy Perry is the ultimate pop star (or at least she was before Witness, but now is not the time for shade), J.K. Rowling was born to be a billionaire novelist, Michael Jordan is the Greatest of All Time–are things that were once unforeseen, impossible, or laughable. Katy Perry got dropped from multiple record labels. J.K. Rowling was suicidally depressed and living on welfare while she wrote the first Harry Potter book. Michael Jordan was the third pick in the draft.
And so are you. (That was meant to be encouraging but it doesn’t make a lot of sense).
If you are interested in sharing a story of personal or professional defeat with Tour de Failure, please submit your tale of woe. This is meant to be a lighthearted institution, so the funnier you can make your flop, the better. This is a safe space. We’re all laughing here, because we are all rooting for you.
Let’s keep failing until we finally get it right.