The art of failure
I have a crooked spine. Bad teeth. No pretty college degree sitting in the bottom drawer. I am self-loathing, a downward spiral, a raging inferiority complex. I feel cheated. Put-upon. Stuck fast to the ground when all I ever want to do is jump. This doesn’t make me special or unique or deserving of attention. It just makes me Me. These are all the reasons that I feel like a failure every day.
Younger people — and I make myself sound ancient at the ripe old age of twenty-six — always hide from me. They don’t pay me compliments. If they do, it’s to tell me You’re so talented and You’re so good at this and I can’t write compared to you. They tell me they want to stop trying, because of me. I’ve heard this for years, for different reasons, and from different people. I used to try to be comforting, to tell them nice things. Make them feel better about themselves.
I’m a failure. When I read something amazing — something truly amazing — sometimes I want to quit, yeah. Because I’m a failure. Because everybody else is a failure. If you’ve tried to do something, you’ve failed at some point. If you didn’t, you’re a liar, or somebody handed success to you. You didn’t earn it, but that’s another matter entirely. The point is, I’m a failure for every bad decision I’ve made and story I didn’t get right and stupid belief that I could possibly make half a living on this nonsense. And so are most people I know, for the same reasons. I’m not somebody you should be jealous of, because there’s twenty people I can count on all fingers and toes and with my eyes shut tight that are better than me at everything I try to do.
But I keep doing it.
And so should you.