Thoughts: Failure and sadness

Restless…failing…sad and sorrowful

A couple of days ago I woke up and tears were spilling out of my eyes. That’s normal right? Waking up crying? I’m positive there are at least five other people in the world who this happens to. It’s not like this happens often. I am tremendously thankful for the thousands of joyful, wonderful days I live. But on this day, this particular morning I woke up very terribly sad. So there it began, washing my face of salty tears and the spiral of all the failure and sadness and sorrow of this life…I get these opportunities to love or to do things I love or to practice and every time I think I fail. Failure, it is indeed one of those mysterious fears I have. But what do you do with a fear like that? I mean it’s basically impossible to avoid this one. I do learn from it. Constantly. Constantly because there are things I think constantly fail at. Which is ok, it’s fine. I’m building character right? I don’t really know actually. I can only hope. 

            This brings me back to the sorrowful way I woke up. I had this awful dream that brought all of the feelings out inside of me that I was sure I had let go of. Then I went through the rest of my day a bit teary and heavy. In hindsight I love these kinds of days because I think there is stuff I didn’t realize I needed to work through until this stuff hits me like a ton of bricks. I wanted to write about it because I think the sadness and failure matters and is essential. We live in a culture that is driven by success and power, and if we don’t realize our own voices it is very easy to get lost in the sea. When I fail, I feel like my voice does not matter. But it does. So does yours. Your voice matters and it is important. So naturally when I need to remember the courage, I call upon the courage of those who have inspired me. PLEASE watch this speech J.K. Rowling gave at the 2008 Harvard graduation.

And here is the text of her speech.

Here is a particular part I love, that has helped me embrace the sad days…

“So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

Ah so maybe failure, sorrow, and sadness is an ok place to be at on some days. I cannot claim to have gone through atrocities as some have. Even the ones I have gone through, I cannot quite measure because the person I have grown into because of these things. But we cannot compare our pain. Pain is pain no matter who is feeling it or what has caused it, and we can all empathize with each other because pain is just that, painful. I have sad days every now and then. On this particular day the sadness and restlessness came of something. I was stripped of something that I had been harboring and hadn’t even realized. Sorrow has a way of doing that. The happiness isn’t there to hide behind and we are just left with ourselves, as raw and ugly as it may be. I woke up in tears on this particular day because I had a very busy restless dream. One that revealed things to my conscience that I was working so hard to be unconscious of. This realization brought me closer to who I really am, and at the end of the day I do just long to be authentically me and do what I was undeniably put here on this earth to do, whatever it may be. It also made me write. The only way I worked myself out of the dark place was through writing and praying. One in the same sometimes. Some days we have to make ourselves get out of bed. We have to get dressed and go to work and in my case, care for a life that is not my own. It’s good for us, the work, the getting up, and its good. I’m only 21 years old. Life is still so full of hope and daring adventure. So while I started that particular day off very terribly sad, I’m thankful for it. I pray that I can be stripped of the inessential. Until I can finally do the one thing that only I can do, and be the person that only I can be. I love that woman’s speech. Her story draws me out of my restless sleep and brings me perspective. It brings me hope, and I pray it does to anyone who watches it and knows what she is saying to be true for them as well.

PS I have a goal of being better at revising things before I post them. So to all the grammar kings and Queens out there, I beg you to have patience with this scramble minded peasant girl who is still trying to have the patience to edit J


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