Tabasco Roads

Writing Prompt:  How spicy do you like your personal success stories?


The higher the mountain, the sweeter the view. But, that’s not to say I seek out difficult challenges – to the contrary, when I make plans, I tend to lean toward the easiest way to achieve an end goal, keeping in mind the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

Life, however, does not happen that way — on a flat plane with clear-cut directions. There are unexpected bumps and ruts and flooded paths, even sinkholes. In my life, I have been detoured, run off the road, and nearly totaled, but, I’m still here, and right now I am off track with my life-as-a-highway comparison since today’s question calls for a different analogy, failure flavoring success.

If my life successes were entrées, they would be filled with jalapenos, cayenne pepper, and chili powder. Tabasco sauce would wash it all down. Yum! Hot and definitely spicy are the success stories of my youth, flavored by many, many failures that paved the way to eventual successes.

Lead-footed, I often raced through life-situations (can’t seem to get away from the life-is-a-highway theme here) keeping my eyes on the prize through tunnel vision. Impatience, my constant companion, hurried me to grow up… and to fall in love. That “love” part was filled with the hottest, spiciest, occasionally volatile failures, as well as successes, and I wouldn’t give those up for anything.

Many miles of time have transformed once bitter, desperate tears into a refreshed, clear vision of purpose. I still try to avoid difficult ways to achieve things, still planning the shortest, straightest route, but, I know better than to expect success without some failures and multiple attempts.

I am better prepared for success these days as I am more patient, less hurried, stronger-willed, and self-assured.

Now, can someone pass the chili peppers and Tabasco, please? I see a fork in the road ahead.

© Sue Marie St. Lee 2014


“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor”

     – Truman Capote)


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