However, as recent introspection and discussions with SC and the privilege of good company has helped me come to a realization that perhaps, it is not so clear and simple as I imagine it to be. And that it is perfectly OKAY that it isn't as clear as I want it to be.
Well, perhaps in this aspect of life, I am a particularly slow learner. What seems obvious and readily accepted by the general population takes me ages to figure out and accept. One of the recurring and ever- burning statements in my head for a good many years has always been "I am a failure".
If you can even come close to having ever had this thought in your head for more than a day, you can understand a little how devastating it is to have it constantly on your mind every waking hour. This statement however, has become a norm to me. Sometimes I wonder if it will ever go away. Some days it shouts at me and paralyses me. Other days it creeps in gently enough to stay lingering as long as it wants to. I have come to accept it sometimes, as a regular gatecrasher, an unwanted visitor which I cannot decline as it comes and goes at its own whims and fancies. But I have also discovered that I while I may not be able to fully control how long the unwelcome visit may last, I have other very useful ways of control over how I treat this regular unwelcome visitor.
I begin to understand that I don't have to make it feel welcome. Or acknowledge it's presence. I can leave it alone. And I have the right to NOT offer it cookies and reinforce its stay and NOT entertain whatever it wants to say to me. And if I DON'T feed it, it gets weaker, and less obvious in my "home" which is my mind.
I had a recently prolonged visit from this "I-AM-A-FAILURE" the past week. Everything I saw around me, kept giving it more and more reason to repeat itself to me. Seeing friends pursue their post graduate education, seeing ex-colleagues continue doing the things I use to be a part of. It makes me feel so useless and such a failure!!! But at the same time, I happened to have a friend on Facebook who is very persistent on the subject of success. In a realistic way. (I will explain next time) And it made me think a lot, about what success is. It is something relative, and open ended, and I find myself looking at many people around me thinking that they are successful. But if it were me instead, I wouldn't necessarily think of it as success.
Which made me come to a conclusion that I cant quite yet put my finger on what success really is to me yet. So now that I know I can't put the definition of success in a box, I moved on to trying to define FAILURE. What is failure? I realized that somehow the definition of FAILURE seems more important to me than the definition of SUCCESS. Because everyday I struggle with being afraid to BE A FAILURE.
It is a very familiar and well visited subject. I can come up with a thesis of why I am a failure. But then I thought to myself. Lets say for a moment that I need to define what FAILURE is. It is really something that is subjective as well. But it suddenly dawned to me that it is easier to know when you are a failure. I realised that I can only be a FAILURE when I decide to just STOP TRYING. And then I realised that I am NOT A FAILURE. Because no matter how hard it has gotten, I haven't completely stopped trying to be well. I think about giving up oh yes I do! But i HAVEN'T! Thre are days that I try so hard just to continue breathing for another day, days I struggle to do house chores, days that the simplest easiest tasks seem most impossible, days when I feel like I want to give up because everything is too complicated. But I am still here and I am still TRYING! And I haven't failed! How comforting to realize that that unwelcome visitor is a lie!
This is especially significant to me for another reason too. Now that I know that FAILURE (to me at least) means NOT TRYING, it can NEVER be permanent. IF for example I AM A FAILURE TODAY, I can stop being a failure tomorrow or even the next moment. I just need to start TRYING again. I know its not rocket science. Its probably nonsensical to most of you out there. But for those of you who are like me, YOU'LL never be a FAILURE! YOU may FAIL but BEING A FAILURE? Logically impossible!!! Just KEEP TRYING! ;-)