“To me, these “false starts” are evidence that a person is growing, exploring, trying to figure things out.”
Yes, but people penalize those, in their little heads.
Basically, I did a lot of things because I thought I ought to. The remnants of religious guilt were certainly there, but I continued to pluck them out, like so many splinters of glass that had become embedded in my body. Each time I did so, I freed myself a bit more. But each time I did so, people said, “She’s failed at what she really tried to do!”
Actually, the opposite was true: I explored the possibility, encountered my error and released myself from it.
I’ve learned that people don’t like to see things in this light, but are habituated to seeing everything in opposite terms, as if one only ever escapes a noose when one has engaged in falseness and succumbed to one’s own weaknesses. The fact that one needs to have courage not to submit is denied. The ability to see that there was a weakness, but that the weakness was in attempting to submit to mores not of one’s own making, is rare.