A Letter from the editor

I’m Chelsea Francis, and I’m your semi-successful friend of failure and editor in chief. Welcome!

Awhile back, an idea of mine, a great idea that I believed in so hard and loved so, so much, got rejected. It was a pitch to write a book, and as much as it hurts to have your work, your heart and soul and your beliefs wrapped up in a project that gets turned down, it was a total blessing in disguise. My rejection became the genesis for this project, that has already been incredibly soul fulfilling. That project proposal became Pass/Fail.

 
 
 A self-timer photo because I was really feeling my outfit, from a really wonderful day I spent on my first solo vacation to California. Later that day this project got rejected.

A self-timer photo because I was really feeling my outfit, from a really wonderful day I spent on my first solo vacation to California. Later that day this project got rejected.

The idea for Pass/Fail came from studying success in reference to failure. I'd been reading stories of successful women that highlighted all the wonderful stepping stones that got them to where they were in their careers and personal lives, while throwing in a minute failure. These people had made names for themselves by living creatively fulfilling lives, and I knew they had all taken more shots than they'd made. I found myself wondering what they'd done wrong to get there, in addition to what they did right. I wanted to know more. I wanted something to exist that could dig into the nitty gritty. Almost like an online catalog of failure, success, and what exists in between. I wanted something I could reference when I needed to get through my own hard stuff. I also wanted resources on how to succeed, how to not get slogged down when you don't quite make it, and what to do once you get to the thing that you always wanted. Getting rejected only made me more tenacious about all this. I really needed it to exist for me, but I also needed it to exist for you too.

 

People seem to think that success is achieved along a linear path; that’s there’s a pre-fab route from Point A to Point B that you follow to get exactly what you want in life. But the most successful people I know are the ones who are comfortable with failure: the ones who have turned a rejection, a loss, a bump in the road, into gold. The people who know that, to achieve any measure of success, you must first define what that means for YOU.

 In New Orleans, just after I'd talked to my therapist about being afraid of traveling. I am now an expert at settling my own flight anxiety. 

In New Orleans, just after I'd talked to my therapist about being afraid of traveling. I am now an expert at settling my own flight anxiety. 

 
 After emceeing a conference during which I mentally blacked out (and physically kept talking) because I was so nervous at the end of day one. Photo by Shalynn Nelson

After emceeing a conference during which I mentally blacked out (and physically kept talking) because I was so nervous at the end of day one. Photo by Shalynn Nelson

I’ve learned so much throughout the process of creating Pass/Fail. Mostly, I’ve learned that so much of success, like life, happens in the gray areas. It’s all the things between passing and failing... that's where the magic happens. These are the things that are significant. Pass/Fail isn’t about success versus failure. It’s about all those “other things”: the minutiae of life; the people we meet in passing. It’s finding comfort in the process rather than the result. It's really not whether you win, or whether you lose. What matters is how you play the game, because you’ll be playing the game for the rest of your life. I believe so strongly that people were put on this planet for a purpose, and that we find the job we’re meant to do through getting good at living in the in between. That's what Pass/Fail is all about... and I still intend to write that book one day. In the meantime check out the journal or say hello!