Today's post is about a lesson that's taken me 26 years to recognize and eventually accept as a necessary - albeit, disheartening - part of life. I was raised (as I'm sure many are) with the notion that success is what I should be striving for. It didn't matter what I was doing; I had to be great at it. But, unfortunately, that's not how life works. I was never a sports kid growing up and it might be a bit controversial to say that I'm happy I wasn't. I've found that many people who participated in sports have a very binary view of success - you either win or lose. Of course, that's the motive of any game, but I don't believe that it sets us up to live fulfilling lives. Having recently watched Molly's Game and I, Tonya, I recognize the very mentality that took me so long to rid myself of - the need to succeed. I watched as it dismantled their mental state and led both characters down paths that a) could have been avoided and b) wouldn't have even been considered necessary by them in the first place otherwise.
Despite magazines writing about the most influential people under 30 years old, I am here to admit that I am proud of my failures and deciding to embark on a path of passion instead of success. It seems dirty to admit that, as though I'm betraying some sworn code of conduct embedded in us from birth, but it's my truth and I'm sure I'm not alone. The word "success" is held at this colossal standard where it's on the tip of many people's tongues as the main ingredient of happiness, but I don't necessarily think the two have anything to do with each other. Sure, we all want to feel like the efforts we've put into something are paying off, but seeking success seems equivalent to seeking a unicorn - we've heard it exists, but for some reason we just can't find it!
Maybe these are just the ramblings of an BA graduate, trying to justify her degree choice and the thousands of dollars she spent on it. Maybe not. All I'm sure of is that I've never sought out success, but rather fulfillment and a lot of the time those two don't work in conjunction. I could have been successful if I stayed in my office job and worked my way up to manager, but I wouldn't have been fulfilled. My writing would have dwindled until there was nothing left of me or my story to document and share. But failing! Now, that's a necessary kick in the butt that most people try to avoid. Not once have I failed at something and haven't learned a lesson from it - either that I wanted to try again or that I knew once and for all that it wasn't a path for me.
Failing is underrated and I think more people should be open to experiencing it.
Are you proud of your failures?