Failure and how it changed me…

When I hear the word ‘failure’ what comes to mind is the ever famous saying “Failure is the stepping stone to success”. I have a really deep and personal relationship with failure. It’s a little hard to fathom as to how anyone could ever have a relationship with failure. This was not by choice but rather something borne out of circumstances.

I am a student. I am moving onto my late twenties but I’m still studying. The path or the profession I have chosen is such that it takes a while to clear the exams as they are really difficult. When I first decided to get into the professional course, I was made aware of the nature and the insane amount of hard work that goes along with it. At the time I felt like I could do whatever it took. I was also made aware of the possibility of failure, of not clearing exams. But back then I was confident that it would never come to that.

Then came the day I made acquaintance with my friendly foe – (as I would like to refer to it ) ‘failure’. Let me tell you, it was not easy…!! Having been an academically good student through out my life, till that point, and scoring really well in exams, I was not aversed with this possibility. The thought that I might fail was so foreign that it never entered my mind.

At first I cried…! I cried and cried and cried…!!  I felt dejected. I lost all hope and fell into the murky depths of despair. Disappointment and despair became my middle name and I was losing myself to it. I had to push and push myself to feel like my old self. I found hope and the courage to try again and gave it my best. Then it happened again..! I failed yet again…!

The thing about failure is, no one tells you how alone you are in it..! Failure leaves you gut-wrenchingly alone. You are so alone that you feel like you are drowning and cannot come up for air. It breaks your soul and breaks your spirit. But what it also does is it makes it a little easier next time. Yes it gets a little easier next time…!! It gives you courage and  faith that you can do it. It also makes you want to try again. Pulling yourself through and piecing together all the broken bits is a painful process. But you find the zeal for it.

I am not saying that failure is easy to face, it is still heart breaking. But somewhere along the way it teaches you that no matter how many times you fall down you have to get up and fight. It also makes you start believing in yourself. When the whole world is laughing at your pitfall failure makes us realize that we have to be our own cheerleaders and get back on our feet. It gives us the strength to face any thing that comes our way and also teaches us not to repeat the mistakes. But most important of all it makes us realize that there is so much more to life than just failure and makes us appreciate what life really is about..!!

So today when my friendly foe visits me, I do become sad, but I take deep breathe and just go on with my life with the faith that next time I will succeed and no matter what I will never stop trying…!!

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Do we really know what we want out of our life?!!

 

When I was in my teens, if someone asked me what I wanted out of my life I would always have an answer. I was confident and sure of myself and sure of the choices that I wanted to make. My teenage sensibilities equated having a well earning job, money, relationship and security to what I wanted out of life.

I had a plan. Finish my education, get a job, start earning well and maybe meet someone, fall in love and then get married and then manage both my career and married life. But as I grew older I realized that life rarely moves according to our plan. I slowly started thinking about the choices I made at eighteen. I started evaluating whether it was the right one. And let me tell you it was not easy..!! Looking back at your decisions and evaluating them to see whether you went wrong is an excruciating exercise. The regrets, disappointments and the what if’s creep in and make it really hard. But doing that became extremely necessary.

I started to wonder whether I went wrong in my teens when I discovered that there are other things I’m equally passionate about, things that I could be good in. Dabbling in things that used to be mere hobby made me realize that maybe I could have made a career out of it. The second guessing and regret creeped in and made me frustrated and led the path down the rabbit hole of self-evaluation.

What also contributed to this was the fact that my life seemed to be in a stand still and stuck at one point without any flow. There is only one way forward and at that point the way seemed to be filled with boulders. I was getting frustrated at the complete lack of momentum. I was frustrated, worried, sad and tensed about the plans that I had made and which seemed to falling apart and the life that I wanted for myself slowly fading away right before my eyes.

It took me a lot of soul searching to reach that point where I made peace with my choices. When you are a teenager there is an almost child like confidence that you can conquer the world and that nothing is impossible. But when you grow older somewhere along the way you lose that feeling . It might be cause the world as an adult is complicated and harder to navigate. There is more uncertainty and unpredictability too. I had to reach back to my teenage self to borrow a little of that confidence and that feeling. I slowly accepted that life will rarely move along our plans. It was a struggle to accept that initially, but slowly I learnt to. Once I could do that, I could make peace with my choices.

Today when someone asks me what do I want out of my life I would say I am not sure. It is for sure not having money or a well earning job or marriage or relationship. But what exactly is it, I have no idea!! I might seem directionless or maybe even irresponsible but I am not worried about that. I am just going to take a deep breath, smile and let life take me where it wants to, who knows maybe along the way I will find the answer..!!!