I’m afraid of having lived in blues and greys when I could’ve lived in reds and orange.
When I think of failure, three ways of defining it make sense to me. The first one is failing to live up to what society expects of me. The second one is failing on what I set myself to do. Yet, none of these really seem to matter in comparison with the third one, which is truly unbearable.
I’m afraid of not living up to what society expects of me, but not that afraid.
I see friends and best friends getting engaged, married and conscientiously saving money together with their loved ones for a tiny little place for two that will almost always put them to debt for their next thirty wonderful years. I’m not doing that and I’m a little afraid of not doing that because many people seem to be doing that. But I’m not that afraid.
I see friends and best friends giving in to 10+ hours of their time each day fiercely working on their jobs and giving up on their free time, in the hope that one day, they’ll be seen and promoted to the top of the holy pyramid. I’m a little afraid of not doing that because many people seem to be doing that. But I’m not that afraid.
I see friends and best friends giving up on their undiscovered roads in life to follow already well-trodden paths so as to please family members or others around them, in the hope that they won’t end up alone and with no one to point direction later on. And I think that it’s comfier and a little less scary fitting in other people’s puzzle of life than being responsible for your own puzzle. I’m a little afraid of not doing that because many people seem to be doing that.
Fitting in other people’s puzzle of life is comfy and a little less scary than being responsible for your own puzzle.
I’m a little afraid of not doing that because I don’t want to end up on the wrong path, alone and miserable. But, on the other hand, I know that not living up to what society expects of me could feel like a failure but it’s not really a failure because you can have other things going on for you, where you’re succeeding.
And you cannot really fail when you fail to do something that’s not important to you, can you?
And I know that even if I check all that I’m supposed to be checking on the society expectations scale, in the end, no one will stand by me to count the number of checks. And then I’ll have to deal with a list of checks that’s not really mylist.
So, this “failure” doesn’t matter because it’s not really a failure.
I’m afraid of failing at some of my goals, but not that afraid.
As a human acknowledging my humanity, I know that what I want right now may not be the same to what I’ll want a year from now and that’s what makes this whole goal pursuing relative and flexible enough to not completely and solely define failure.
As a human acknowledging my humanity, I know that the goals I’ve set for myself are at best a mosaic of desires and careful analysis and at worst a mosaic of irrational beliefs and expectations from others. And I really can’t tell all the time which is which.
And I know that the goals I set for myself can be subjected to moods, changes in moods and disappearance of some moods. Right now I may be starting to save money for my own place because I like the feeling of stability that will give me, while at the same time struggle with the thought of “I only live once” and thus spending it all on traveling to see the world. And 6 months later, all the money I’ve saved are gone on travels. Did I fail or did I succeed?
So, in this reality of goals changing constantly while I change with life, I cannot really think that failing at some of my goals means me failing at life. And in the reality of me having learned more from failing than from winning, I cannot really think that failing is really a failure because you might as well, while you’re failing, succeed in learning.
So, this “failure” doesn’t matter, because it’s not really a failure either.
The thing is, I’m terribly afraid of not living up to my full potential and that’s what really, really scares me.
I’m afraid of living my life half the way I can live it, I’m afraid of not listening to my intuition on what I can become and I’m afraid of living on half measures. That is, half a life.
I think that we’re all born with innate sensing of what we can become in our time here. I think we can, deep down, all smell it. And I’m afraid of coming to the end of me and getting the sense that I’ve ignored it. I’m afraid of the deepest regret and that is not getting enough of what this life has to offer because I didn’t get enough out of what I could offer.
I’m afraid of not taking full advantage of my potential and subsequently, of my time here.
I’m afraid of living in blues and greys when I could’ve lived in reds and orange.
I’m afraid of only touching the tip of the water instead of diving in fully.
I’m afraid of waking up one day, at the age of 80, bored and tired, but not tired from all the life that my life has put in me, but of all the regrets that I’ve stored because of the life I haven’t lived.
Because then and only then, I will know that I failed.
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