It has taken a long time for it to sink in, but I think I’m finally starting to grasp that I’m afraid. Fear is a truly nebulous thing and there are so many things to be afraid of, but I’m not afraid of being physically hurt so much as I’m afraid of failing. We are taught from a young age that there is so much importance on our decisions that we can’t afford to fail. Failing means not getting the grade that you need to or not being able to get the job that you always wanted.
But what I realized today was that it is through failure that I’ve found some of the best things in my life.
Not all failures are equal and not everything can be constituted as a failure.
I wasn’t able to find the editing job that I wanted when I first left school and I felt like I had failed. I searched around for jobs and ended up taking one that had no appeal to me. I didn’t have the option to turn it down and I needed the pay cheque. If I had stayed in that job, I would have had job security and had been set on the path to being a property manager. It was soul killing in its own way, but I did it for the money.
Yet when the chance to move to a new company came along, I took it. I moved to Avidlife and took a lower position as a customer service representative. It was terrifying to make this move even though I thought it would be better for me. There was always that chance of failure, but I jumped for it and held on tight with both hands. Two years as a CSR and many times it crossed my mind to quit, to find something better. I told myself that I had failed somehow. That I had not been able to do anything extraordinary or wonderful.
Yet now I have a position in the company that I really love and that I could see myself doing for a very long time. What had been a failure brought me to a place that I hadn’t expected, but that place wasn’t bad. The position I have now as a coordinator is a far cry from the copywriting that I thought I would be doing, but it’s more rewarding in its own way.
Even after moving there was a fear that I wouldn’t be good enough. That fear dominates my life, I’ve realized. Even when it comes to something like posting in this blog, I avoided doing so because how could I ever say something of value? There are so many talented bloggers out there and how could I ever expect to be heard?
When it comes to trying to write a book, the instant I need to step outside of my comfort zone… I crumble. I could fail. I might never be published and as much as I love writing, I thought about it in terms of failure rather than success. I have written four novels on my own time while working another job. Is that not something to be celebrated?
Is the fact that I have all these worlds inside of my head not something to look upon with approval?
Being a part of Avidlife has brought me into contact with a plethora of people. Some of them were negative experiences for me and I can remember days when I was just at the end of my rope when I had bad phone calls or a bad review. There are days when I make mistakes and I can feel that ball of ice in the pit of my stomach, making it hard to focus on anything else. But there are brilliant people there too, all in their own way and as one of my coworkers told me, I just needed to find my Rabbi. The people who would look out for me and would cheer me on in my projects that were both work oriented and personal.
Being sick today gave me a lot of time to lie in bed and think about what my current status is in life.
I think that I’ve never been luckier. Despite the pitfalls and mood swings, I’ve probably never been more content than I am now.
So the time has come to face my fears. To chase my passions.
It won’t be easy and I’m not expecting it to be. Even if nothing ever comes out of it and at the end of my life, I’m still just writing for no one but myself I don’t ever want to stop that. I can work hard at a job that I enjoy to earn the money that I need to survive physically, but for my mental and emotional health… I need to write.
A lot of articles that I’ve read talk about your passions and your profession as if they are mutually exclusive things. We are taught that we have to dedicate ourselves to one end and that we cannot have everything we want, but why should that stop us for striving for those things?
If nothing else, by doing this I’ll get to learn things that I never would have thought possible before.
And maybe I won’t make it. Maybe I’m doomed to failure from the very start, but that’s not going to stop me from trying.
There may be days where I’m angry at the world, where I’m just so burnt out and frustrated that I can’t push forward any longer, but that’s not going to stop me from trying.
Nothing can stop me from striving to achieve my goals because I’m not going to let my fear stop me any more.
We create our own narratives to live by and while we intrinsically internalize the narratives of the societies that we live in as well, I can’t use that as an excuse any longer.
In the end, it’s long past time I start writing my own narrative for my life.