The bird in Tiny Wings doesn’t have a name, but you give him one. I called him Richie, which is what my name would be if I were eternally a nine year old.
Would that be so bad?
It wouldn’t. If you remember being nine, you probably remember doing a lot of esoteric activities to keep yourself entertained. If you’re like me, a lot of that stuff was pointless diversion in the guise of some unobtainable future goal. I remember spending months practicing with my ‘lip sync band’.
In my bleeding heart phase I went door to door collecting money to “save the whales”. A friend and I spent a significant amount of time attempting to build a robot; cobbling a bunch of mechanized pieces together. For some fugitive reason, we believed it would work. There was a lot of trial and even more error. We were totally and stupidly convinced that at the end of all of it we would have a robot to serve us breakfast every morning.
Richie the bird also has a dream and his plan is just as misguided. His dream is to fly in spite of his misshapen wings. In order to accomplish this, he’s going to swoop down as many hills as possible. At first, he thinks he’ll just jump. Eventually he’ll get enough momentum to fly. Just like all of the “normal” birds.
Tiny Wings requires a single tap to control the bird’s pseudo-flight across dozens of hills and islands. Pressing down on the screen causes the bird to embrace gravity for just long enough to swoop down into the valley between hills, only to coast up the next hill and into the air. For a few moments, he experiences an exhilarating weightlessness. He feels a momentary success.
He begins to fall again. If he’s lucky, he falls at just the right spot where he can maintain momentum and shoot up the next hill. Otherwise, his momentum stops cold, and he’s forced to start over.
There’s always a point at which this poor bird’s momentum stops. The bird always fails. In fact, he fails every time he hits the ground, which is a lot. The question isn’t whether or not this tiny-winged bird succeeds at flying; the question is how gracefully he fails.
I turned 30 this past week, and as a result I thought a lot about what turning 30 means. Or should mean. I have a few friends who turn 30 at around the same time. None of us are really struggling with feeling “old” (I suspect that comes at 40). Instead, we struggle with feeling unaccomplished. We thought we’d be further along in our careers, or we thought we’d have a different career by now, or we thought we’d have kids, or more kids, or have a house, or a degree we could use. This is a very real anxiety amongst people my age: we’ve all tried really hard. We’ve all spent our lives going to school or preparing for what we were sure we were destined for. And we tried so, so hard to make it happen.
But there are moments when we feel the gravity pulling us down, and we’ve learned not to fight it. We’ve learned to go with the gravity, to land at just the right spot. To fail gracefully.
While poor Richie is busy learning how to fail, the systems surrounding Tiny Wings make demands, telling him that if he can’t at least succeed he should try to reach the 7th island, or spend 34 seconds in “fever mode” (a mode activated by achieving perfect swoops between hills), or achieve 7 perfect swoops on the first island. These goals might be arbitrary, but they are demanded of him nonetheless. It’s a to-do list that makes sense of the failure – it gives it immediate and quantifiable meaning. If you can’t fly, the least you can do is these things. For him it’s all swoops and islands and fever mode. For us it’s paying off student loans, submitting resumes, and networking. They are means to an end, and in list form they are cynical and joyless endeavors.
The player cares deeply about these things, often to the detriment of the bird’s desire to fly as far as possible. They grind away until they are completed, restarting if they fail. Distance, flight, joy and love no longer matter – checking off the list does.
But Richie the bird is blissfully unaware of these expectations. He just wants to fly. Not because it will pay his bills or improve his reputation, but because he loves that feeling of soaring higher into the sky, outracing the sun, the wind blowing across his face. “Whooo hooooooo!” he shouts, just before he finds himself falling again. He sees that failure as an opportunity to try again, and man, does he go for it.
Sometimes he lands directly onto the broadside of an oncoming hill and screeches to a halt. Still, he climbs, because he knows another opportunity is coming, and it’s gonna be fun.
But Richie is a young bird, almost certainly less than nine bird years old.
Filed Under: Life Mobile Reflections
About the Author:
Richard Clark is the managing editor of Gamechurch, the editor-in-chief of Christ and Pop Culture, and a regular columnist at Unwinnable.
12,286 Responses to “Failing Forward”
Leave a Reply
This is a tough one to write. For those of you who know me, in person, by my writing, or…
OriginalsThe Fool and the Villain, Part II
(Warning: In Second Life, pixelated tits and dicks abound. Abandon all hope, all ye who enter this article at work.)…
CommentaryThe Edge Of The Ocean
The problem is to plot the map. My sense of geography is spotted with black holes. There’s the Chinatown and…
Play everything. No, I’m serious, play everything. Play that game of hopscotch those kids drew up on the sidewalk with…
CommentaryGenre In Question
Why are there so few video game comedies? At least twice in the past year I’ve bumped into conversations trying…
I have been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or weblog posts in this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this site. Studying this information So i am satisfied to show that I’ve an incredibly excellent uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed. I so much surely will make certain to don’t put out of your mind this website and provides it a look on a continuing basis. buy cbd cbd for sale
I am glad for writing to make you know what a incredible encounter my friend’s girl gained studying your web page. She learned plenty of pieces, which include what it’s like to possess an awesome helping mood to let other folks smoothly know just exactly several multifaceted subject matter. You truly exceeded our own expectations. Thank you for offering these necessary, safe, explanatory and even fun tips about this topic to Julie.
Nice post. I was checking continuously this weblog and I am impressed!
Extremely useful info particularly the remaining section 🙂 I
handle such information much. I used to be looking for
this particular info for a long time. Thanks and good luck.
Greetings! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are
you using for this site? I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve had
problems with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform.
I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.
Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers?
I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any
Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers?
I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any
Hey There. I found your blog the use of msn. This is an extremely neatly written article.
I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to learn extra of your helpful info.
Thank you for the post. I will definitely comeback.
Thankfulness to my father who stated to me concerning this webpage,
this website is actually awesome.
Hello, i think that i saw you visited my site thus i came
to “return the favor”.I am attempting to find things to enhance my web site!I suppose
its ok to use some of your ideas!!
http://bio-catalyst.com/ – order minocin
buy minomycin online
generic omnicef generic zyvox
coupon for cialis by manufacturer cialis online
real cialis without a doctor prescription https://edplsgeneric.com/ how does cialis work
coupon for cialis by manufacturer cialis patent expiration
tinder dating app , tider
how does cialis work generic cialis at walmart
cialis dosages http://cialisirt.com/ how to get cialis samples
safe alternatives to viagra and cialis real cialis online with paypal
п»їcialis can you have multiple orgasms with cialis
cialis 20mg price http://cialisirt.com/ cialis lowest price 20mg
liquid cialis source reviews cialis generic availability
how often to take 10mg cialis canadien cialis
low cost cialis http://cialisirt.com/ $200 cialis coupon
viagra or cialis coffee with cialis
cialis generic cialis maximum dosage
does cialis lower blood pressure https://edplsgeneric.com/ 30ml liquid cialis
does medicaid cover cialis tadalafil vs cialis
what is cialis used for cialis erections
does cialis make you bigger https://edplsgeneric.com/ cialis free trial
online cialis show cialis working
generic for cialis cialis erection penis
is cialis generic available http://cialisirt.com/ canada cialis
walgreens price for cialis 20mg where to get cialis sample
herbal replacement for viagra/cialis/levitra… cialis before and after
tadalafil vs cialis https://edplsgeneric.com/ interactions for cialis
cialis for peyronie cialis patent expiration
take cialis with or without food herbal replacement for viagra/cialis/levitra…
cialis professional https://edplsgeneric.com/ does cialis make you bigger
cialis headaches afterwards cialis coupon code
cialis for peyronie coupon for cialis by manufacturer
liquid cialis http://cialisirt.com/ coffee with cialis
interactions for cialis the effects of cialis on women
safe alternatives to viagra and cialis how long does 20mg cialis keep in system
cialis 30 day sample http://cialisirt.com/ cialis lowest price
cialis before and after how much does cialis cost
generic cialis bitcoin cialis patent expiration
viagra vs cialis http://cialisirt.com/ safe alternatives to viagra and cialis
cialis for daily use cialis daily
what is tadalafil: http://tadalafilonline20.com/ generic tadalafil 40 mg
generic drugs without doctor’s prescription: https://genericwdp.com/ generic drugs without doctor’s prescription
overseas pharmacies shipping to usa overseas pharmacies shipping to usa
I am truly grateful to the holder of this web page who has shared this great article at at this
buying prescription drugs from canada meds without a doctor prescription
best place to buy viagra online price of viagra
price of viagra
where to buy viagra online best place to buy generic viagra online
buy viagra online canada
online doctor prescription for viagra viagra without a doctor prescription
best over the counter viagra
where to buy viagra online cost of viagra
cost of viagra viagra without a doctor prescription usa
best over the counter viagra
This article offers clear idea for the new visitors of blogging, that
really how to do running a blog. games ps4 185413490784 games ps4
100mg viagra viagra from canada
viagra without a doctor prescription
Hello to all, how is all, I think every one is getting more from this web page, and your views are
fastidious for new viewers. ps4 games 185413490784 ps4
10mg paxil paxil bipolar
ed pills online
buy chloroquine phosphate chloroquine usa
diflucan tablet uk diflucan 150 mg over the counter
viagra without a doctor prescription
singles near me
zithromax online australia buy zithromax online with mastercard
buy paxil paxil breast cancer
top erection pills
Good day I am so excited I found your web site, I really found you by error, while I was searching on Yahoo for
something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a incredible post and a
all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design),
I don’t have time to go through it all at the minute
but I have saved it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time
I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the great job.
free local personals
dating websites new
Hi it’s me, I am also visiting this web page on a regular basis, this web page is truly fastidious and the
visitors are actually sharing fastidious thoughts.
viagra amazon https://viagrapills100.com/ viagra without a doctor prescription usa
Hi there! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using
for this site? I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking
at options for another platform. I would be awesome if you
could point me in the direction of a good platform.
price of viagra https://viagrapills100.com/ best place to buy generic viagra online
viagra from canada https://viagrapills100.com/ order viagra online
viagra amazon https://viagrapills100.com/ mexican viagra
Hey very interesting blog!
cheap ed pills cheap pet meds without vet prescription
best medication for ed
Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
Look advanced to far added agreeable from you!
By the way, how could we communicate?
personal ads free
buy ed pills buy ed pills
cheap ed pills from canada
First of all I would like to say awesome blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing.
I have had a difficult time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts
out there. I do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the
first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions
or tips? Thank you!
hydroxychloroquine antiviral: cheap plaquenil – hydroxychloroquine sulfate price
neurontin 300mg caps: neurontin 4 mg – can i buy neurontin over the counter
https://zithromaxproff.com/# zithromax 500 tablet
http://zithromaxproff.com/# where can i get zithromax
zithromax over the counter uk
free single personal ads
single chat line free
https://zithromaxproff.com/# can you buy zithromax over the counter in australia
india pharmacy: ordering medicine from india india pharmacies shipping to usa
all generic meds from india: all generic meds from india prescriptions from india
top erectile dysfunction pills: cialis pills levitra pills
buy erectile dysfunction pills online: generic viagra pills generic viagra pills
What’s Going down i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It positively helpful and
it has aided me out loads. I’m hoping to give a contribution & help different customers
like its helped me. Good job. 0mniartist asmr
canadian online pharmacy viagra non prescription viagra viagra no prescription
I’m gone to tell my little brother, that he should also go to see this webpage on regular basis to get
updated from latest news update. asmr 0mniartist
free meet me site
100% completely free dating sites
Excellent post. I used to be checking constantly this weblog and
I am impressed! Very useful info specifically the remaining phase 🙂 I handle
such information much. I used to be seeking this particular information for a very long time.
Thank you and best of luck. 0mniartist asmr
generic viagra without a doctor prescription non prescription viagra buy viagra online without prescription
best canadian online pharmacies
https://clomidst.com/# clomiphene tablets
best free dating site for serious relationships
100% completely free dating sites
https://clomidst.com/# order clomiphene
free adult dating sites
plenty fish date site
I believe this is one of the such a lot important information for me.
And i am glad studying your article. However want to commentary on few normal issues, The web site taste is
perfect, the articles is in reality nice : D. Just right
task, cheers 0mniartist asmr
http://amoxilst.com/# cost of amoxicillin 875 mg
Very good information. Lucky me I discovered your blog by chance (stumbleupon).
I have saved as a favorite for later! 0mniartist asmr
best online canadian pharmacy
http://clomidst.com/# online clomid
paxil cr: paxil generic – paxil insomnia
personal loan companies
need money now
best otc ed pills: buy ed pills – cheap erectile dysfunction pills online
metformin canada online: buy metformin – where can i purchase metformin 1000 mg
iB5gGA clesiwluqnuz, [url=http://ipdctvfluicg.com/]ipdctvfluicg[/url], [link=http://lcmjibtkbfgs.com/]lcmjibtkbfgs[/link], http://bnwreebpbpbu.com/
ventolin over the counter usa: ventolin – ventolin otc canada
credit personal loans
payday advance loan
generic propecia canada: buy propecia uk – finasteride prostate
finasteride price https://medrxst.com/#
valtrex pills over the counter: valacyclovir without a doctor’s prescription – valtrex 500mg uk
ventolin 100 mcg
valtrex 1g best price: valtrex 500mg price – buy valtrex over the counter
average cost of generic valtrex http://valtrex10.com/#
buy tadalafil: tadalafil 20mg for sale – tadalafil without a doctor’s prescription
ventolin canadian pharmacy
how to get valtrex in mexico: buy valtrex – buy generic valtrex online canada
canadian online pharmacy no prescription
propecia purchase: buy finasteride – propecia 5mga
ventolin online nz
no prescription ventolin: where can i order ventolin in canada without a prescription – ventolin in usa
ventolin us price
https://edpillst.com/# otc ed pills
ed medications online
cures for ed: non prescription ed pills – ed treatment pills
erectile dysfunction drugs https://edpillst.com/#
online ed medications: best pill for ed – cheapest ed pills
erection pills https://edpillst.com/#
male ed drugs: erection pills online – medications for ed
natural ed medications https://edpillst.com/#
reputable online pharmacy
https://edpillst.com/# best ed treatment pills
ed pills otc
legit mexican pharmacy canadian pharmacy world coupon code drugs from canada
pharmacy discount coupons https://pharmfst.com/#
best online pharmacy canadian pharmacy 365 best mail order pharmacy canada
canadian pharmacy generic cialis https://pharmfst.com/#
Hi! Quick question that’s totally off topic.
Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?
My blog looks weird when viewing from my iphone4. I’m trying to find
a template or plugin that might be able to correct this problem.
If you have any recommendations, please share. With thanks!
You actually make it seem really easy together
with your presentation however I in finding this
matter to be really one thing that I believe I might by no means understand.
It kind of feels too complex and very large for me. I’m taking a look forward on your next post,
I’ll attempt to get the hang of it!
cyprus online pharmacy canadian online pharmacy no prescription – canadian neighbor pharmacy
pharmacy order online
Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve been to your blog before but after going through some of the articles I realized it’s new to me.
Regardless, I’m certainly delighted I discovered it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!
medical pharmacy south mexican pharmacy online online canadian pharmacy reviews
legitimate canadian mail order pharmacy https://pharmfst.com/#
tindr , tinder sign up
canada drugs online review generic pharmacy online mexican pharmacy
canadian pharmacy coupon https://pharmfst.com/#
cheapest prescription pharmacy ed drugs – canadian pharmacy oxycodone
24 hr pharmacy
browse tinder for free , tindr
tinder dating app
tinder website , what is tinder
buy cialis insurancecialis online without prescription ed drugs – cialis without prescriptions canada
cialis without presciption in usa
buy cialis united kingdom canada cialis online buy cialis philippines
buy cialis tadalafil tablets https://cialisst.com/#
Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Finding the time and actual
effort to generate a top notch article… but what can I say… I hesitate a whole
lot and don’t manage to get anything done.
buy cialis online in canada buy cialis in miami buy cialis online generic
buy cialis online viagra https://cialisst.com/#
buy cialis online overnight cialis 20mg for sale cialis sale 20mg
ordering cialis online australia https://cialisst.com/#
I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your content.
This article has really peaked my interest. I am going to bookmark your blog and keep checking for new information about once per week.
I subscribed to your RSS feed too.
legitimate canadian pharmacy online
cialis 5mg tablet erectile dysfunction pills – buy cialis insurance
ordering cialis online australia
cialis online daily erectile dysfunction pills – cialis 20mg for sale
buy cialis now
tinder date , tinder login
buy cialis cheaper online erectile dysfunction pills – can i buy cialis in toronto
buy cialis shipping canada
Howdy! This post could not be written any better!
Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate!
He always kept talking about this. I will forward this
article to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read.
Thanks for sharing!
buy cialis toronto cialis without presciption in usa – buy cialis online cheap
buy cialis in miami
online pharmacies legitimate
canadian pharmacies shipping to usa
Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite justification appeared
to be on the internet the easiest thing to be
aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people consider worries that
they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined
out the whole thing without having side effect ,
people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more.
taking cialis soft tabs buy cialis united kingdom – generic cialis canadian
cialis online daily
online pharmacy reviews
Hey this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs
use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually
code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding
experience so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
real viagra without a doctor prescription generic viagra overnight viagra coupon
viagra prices https://viagrasts.com/#
tinder sign up , how to use tinder
how to use tinder
order viagra online viagra 100mg – viagra without a doctor prescription usa
how long does viagra last
buy viagra viagra coupons viagra price
viagra for sale https://viagrasts.com/#
viagra coupons viagra without doctor prescription – natural viagra
where can i buy cialis on line
tinder website , what is tinder
buy cialis online viagra: where can u buy cialis find cheap cialis online
buy cialis with paypal
cialis without prescriptions canada: cialis 20mg for sale cost of tadalafil without insurance
much does cialis cost without insurance
What’s up to all, how is everything, I think every one is
getting more from this site, and your views are fastidious
in support of new viewers. scoliosis
buy cialis online overnight: buy cialis online cheap buy cialis ebay
how to buy cialis online uk https://cialisbnb.com/#
Aw, this was a very good post. Finding the time and
actual effort to create a good article… but what can I say… I hesitate a whole lot and never seem to get anything done.
stromectol tablets uk: generic stromectol – ivermectin 18mg
stromectol 3 mg dosage: cheap stromectol – ivermectin 5 mg price
ed pills comparison: cheap erectile dysfunction – natural ed medications
ed treatment review https://erectionst.com/#
ed pills for sale: erectile dysfunction pills – ed drug prices
free dating sites
you are in reality a just right webmaster.
The website loading pace is amazing. It sort
of feels that you’re doing any distinctive trick. Furthermore,
The contents are masterpiece. you’ve performed a magnificent job on this subject!
free dating sites
cialis soft tablet: generic cialis daily pricing buy cialis tadalafil tablets
buy cialis with paypal https://cialist100.com/#
buy cialis toronto: buy cialis rush buy cialis online in canada
canada cialis online
This web site truly has all of the information and facts I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.
free of charge dating
free african american dating sites online
cialis 20 mg cost: buy cialis 36 hour can i buy cialis in toronto
cialis without presciption in usa – https://cialist100.com/#
pharmacy canadian superstore: which online pharmacy is reliable the pharmacy
mail pharmacy – https://pharmfst.online/#
viagra professional buy generic viagra online – viagra without doctor prescription
buy viagra order viagra for women – order viagra online
If you are going for finest contents like myself, just pay a visit
this website every day because it presents quality contents, thanks
viagra generic viagra – buy viagra online
Spot on with this write-up, I really feel this amazing
site needs much more attention. I’ll probably
be back again to see more, thanks for the advice!
buy cialis philippines – buy cheap cialis uk how to get ciails without a doctor
Good replies in return of this matter with real arguments and explaining everything about that.
canadian pharmacy cialis 20mg cialis without prescriptions canada buy cialis online overnight
I do consider all of the ideas you’ve offered on your post.
They are really convincing and can certainly work.
Still, the posts are too brief for novices. May you please prolong
them a bit from next time? Thank you for the post.
Hi there, I enjoy reading through your post.
I wanted to write a little comment to support you.
buy cialis canadian cialis without prescriptions canada buy cialis shipping canada
wellbutrin prescription uk cheap wellbutrin – wellbutrin sr generic
Your style is very unique in comparison to other folks I’ve
read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have
the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this site.
wellbutrin prescription mexico wellbutrin xl – wellbutrin cost without insurance
tadalafil pills https://nextadalafil.com/ tadalafil 30 mg tadalafil 40 mg from india
tadalafil 40 mg from india https://pulmoprestadalafil.com/ tadalafil pills tadalafil dosage
tadalafil online https://extratadalafill.com/ order tadalafil tadalis sx
tadalafil 40 https://nextadalafil.com/ tadalafil 40 mg daily what is tadalafil
tadalafil 40 mg daily https://superactivetadalafil.com/ order tadalafil tadalafil
what is tadalafil https://pulmoprestadalafil.com/ tadalafil pills 20mg tadalafil 40 mg from india
tadalafil max dose https://tadalafilgenc.com/ 40 mg tadalafil tadalafil pills 20mg
amoxicillin from canada generic amoxil – amoxicillin 500mg no prescription
prescription drugs online ed meds online without doctor prescription – home remedies for ed
tadalafil dosage https://tadalafilgenc.com/ tadalafil pills 20mg generic tadalafil united states
tadalafil 40 mg daily https://tadalafilgenc.com/ tadalafil 40 mg from india tadalafil 40 mg from india
order tadalafil https://pulmoprestadalafil.com/ tadalafil max dose generic tadalafil 40 mg
zithromax capsules 250mg buy antibiotic – antibiotic with inflamation of the achilles tendons
tadalafil https://extratadalafill.com/ tadalafil tablets tadalafil max dose
cialis super active
post antibiotic world keflex antibiotic – amoxicillin discount coupon
no script pharmacy canada drugs online – canadian pharmacy world
prescription for amoxicillin cipro antibiotic – antibiotic for dropsy
tadalafil daily online cialis tablets tadalafil price at walmart
cialis for sale
neurontin prescription neurontin generic – neurontin price south africa
amoxicillin discount buy amoxicillin – amoxicillin 500mg capsules price
order amoxicillin online buy amoxicillin – can i purchase amoxicillin online
order amoxicillin online purchase amoxicillin online – amoxicillin 500mg capsules antibiotic