I dragged my aching body into my car and I tossed my bag on top of the passenger seat. The numb feeling that radiated through my whole body has become a common thing for me. It was like I expected to feel numb. Then, I released a scream that has been locked in my heart for days. I gripped the steering wheel as hot tears streamed down my face, like a waterfall.
I felt like a failure. I felt like I condemned my soul the minute I accepted the job. I felt like I missed a step on the stairs and I was falling hard.
There is something about the word: failure. Failure is defined as a lack of success or an unsuccessful person, enterprise or thing. To me, it is like a tender sound that sings hope. It also brings the death to any optimism.
A Chinese proverb says, “Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.” I am having a hard time understand this quote. Even with my lack of self-confidence, I achieved a major life goal that I set for myself when I was in high school. I attended college and received an Associate and Bachelor’s Degree. I conquered the many sleepless nights from studying for exams. I improved my writing while building connections with professionals in the field I was studying. I was an unstoppable force that would not let rejection stop me from getting a college degree.
So, why was I crying in my car and thinking I did nothing with my life? How did I become a person who works at becoming a journalist to a zombie who lives off coffee and works in retail?
I know I am not alone, feeling like a failure. It is the natural process of life. I mean, look at the many famous people. They are famous because they did not give up. Their lives improved after they took the word failure out of their dictionary.
Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first TV job, but now is a billionaire with her own television network, OWN. Walt Disney had to declare bankruptcy on his animation studio, Laugh-O-Gram, before becoming the pioneer of cartoon films and founding Disneyland. J.K. Rowling had many rejections from publications until her first book, Harry Potter and Philosopher Stone was released in 1997. As of 2017, The Sunday Times said that Rowling’s net worth is about $850 million.
These people came from different backgrounds, but they all struggled in life. They made their failures a memory in the back of their mind and kept on moving. They made something out of their lives.
I am a weirdly optimistic person, but I will always be my worst enemy. I could be the best journalist in the world, but I will tell myself that I cannot write, and no one will want to read my stories. Does that make me a failure, though? My unconscious response is a hard no, but I need to rethink what failure really means.
Failure can be the sweet song that plays in my ears while I go in my daily life. It can be the friend that picks me up after a fall. It can be that call for an interview from my dream job. It can be my future. I must fail first.
To my readers, I hope this message helps you, even a little bit. You must try to remember that it is okay to not have everything you dreamed of in your life right now, but do not think that the dream is over.