This post has taken a while for me to write, because I wanted to be careful about how I presented it. I have been giving the idea of failure, and my fear of it, some intense thought over the past few months, and I want the tone of this post to convey not sadness, but hope. The truth is, simply, that I have spent my whole life failing. Whether it be school, relationships, money, careers, jobs, etc., I am, first and foremost, a failure. But a funny thing happened when I spent some time on this fact: I gained a sense of freedom within my failure that has propelled me to take new ownership of my life. Also, a sense of pride.
It may seem strange to revel in a life of failure, and yet. And yet, here I am. None of the things that I was so afraid of (a lost marriage, a sluggish career, getting fired, spending large chunks of my adult life alone, running out of money, spending months sleeping on a couch) have managed to kill me. They almost did, for sure, and most of my success at simply hanging tight and holding on has been due to a small group of people who have, at times, rallied around me to keep me safe. But I made it.
From the other side, I can say with real clarity that I don't regret a thing, and that in my failing, I have become the person that I am now. Those times when I fell short really made me want to be better, to get better, and to become the best. I am not there, at that top level yet, but I am confident that I am getting there. This is the knowledge that has, and will continue to, set me free.
Okay, that sounds cheesy, but it really is true. In living precariously at times, and forging ahead despite all notions of how sane adults would live, I have become a person today that I can be proud of, and say that I really, actually can do anything.
I can do anything.
I say this with full knowledge that in doing so, I will fail again. Perhaps catastrophically so. Perhaps in such a way that I will feel those pangs of loss, of alienation, and of fear. Perhaps in a way that will drop me to the very bottom of myself again.
But I will still be here...
Because I can do anything.