“Failure teaches us that life is but a draft, an endless rehearsal of a show that will never play”
– Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain
I am no stranger to failure. I’ve failed at so many things in my life and I will without a doubt fail again in the future. I’m a failure and I’m learning to be okay with that.
I know that I should work to find meaning in these failures and come out stronger and all that, but to be honest I hate failing. I hate the feelings that come afterwards and the constant anxious thought of “why didn’t I succeed?” It turns my stomachs in knots and makes me feel so shitty about myself. But, it happens… a lot. My past 3 years in college I have faced more failure and more rejection than I ever thought possible. I was charmed growing up; school and my future came naturally easy to me and I had never truly failed at anything that I had put enough effort into.
College knocked me the fuck down and I really started to feel that no matter how much I tried I would never be able to stack up. I started to doubt myself and internalized my failures as me being a failure and it really took a toll on my mental health. It’s hard to not let failures in school seep into my perception of myself as a person when my identity is in large part defined by my label as student. I need to see myself as more than “student.” I am a daughter and a friend and a confidant and just simply me.
I may be failing in some aspects in life but I have to keep it in perspective that I am excelling in others. I’ve cultivated relationships that I love and I have come to deeply know myself and love myself. Even when I feel like the biggest failure I know there are still things I’m doing well in and love myself for doing well! This is what keeps me going when I feel like the biggest failure — the knowledge that I can still succeed.
I never really believed in the Japanese proverb fall down seven times, get up eight. I was strong enough, why did I need to fall to get back up again, why couldn’t I just always stay standing? I have learned in the past few years that my failures make me so powerful because they make me fearless and when I pull myself up by my bootstraps I’m stronger than ever. And who doesn’t want to be strong and fearless?
With each failure, I’m only getting better.