A friend said to me way back then, ‘It’s ok to fail.’ And I laughed at him and thought no fucking way. There is no such word as failure but what do I mean by to fail? You’ve set out on a journey with a specific route in mind, say University, or a teacher, or that often thought of novel. In your mind the future looks clear, the road ahead is uncluttered. You can see your dream like the Holy Grail, of course there will be a bramble bush along the way but not much else. But what if a bigger obstacle lies in your way? say a death, and then another, what about a serious mental health issue or cancer?
Suddenly you find yourself in a different world. It’s not that nothing is being offered to you. But that the confidence and courage required to make great leaps has been sapped from you by life ending events. Suddenly to get up seems a struggle, that steady nine-to-five appears like Mount Everest. That mountain of cash, and that job title that gave you so much strength, have evaporated, and you’re unemployed, poor and eyeing up the eight pound an hour jobs you laughed at before.
So you admit failure. That you felt you were leading your life in a direction of riches and success and give it up for whatever else may come along. There is no assistance. There is no energy. But you must do something, so you accept whatever comes along. Feel grateful that this great big I am hasn’t swallowed you whole like a drowned refugee off some unforgotten coast of nowhere. A lost statistic on national television.
You remind yourself of the miracle of self-awareness. As a human being I am aware and have all my faculties and senses with me. As a dog I don’t. Admittedly the dog appears happy but then again not all dogs are free. Whatever my situation, I am human, and I am free, as painful and as beautiful as that may be. My heart feels for you and your insurmountable struggles. I can’t tell you to carry on but carry on you must, in whatever direction you need to get to, to secure your base. Find your centre. Get back to some peace and dignity and be a human in this world again. Love and Peace.