Sleep didn’t come tonight. Some days are good and some days are bad. Some days are a mixture of both. This world has too many ways of defining someone as a failure, of keeping someone down and hammering in to them that they are not now, and never will be, good enough.
I find myself looking into the mirror a lot lately, asking myself ‘how did I get here?’ and ‘who have I become?’, when the truth is I know. I am an incredibly driven man, the overachiever, the one that people come to with questions. But these traits are irrelevant and useless when we loose touch with our passions, when we push so far forward in the wrong direction. The longer I remained an engineer, the more removed from what my real passions are I became, the deeper I fell into a depression that I am still struggling with and am not yet free from. Truth is, no matter how hard I think about it, I’m no longer sure where my real passions lay. I know I am in love with mathematics and the sciences. But there used to be more than that. What was it? The hunt is on.
I have faced some serious hurdles now. Woe is me right? Wrong. We all face our hurdles, some more serious than others. It is how we deal with them that defines us. I have dealt with mine in various ways. Some extremely well, leaving me with a sense of great pride, and others extremely poorly, so poorly in fact that I am lucky (and grateful) to be alive. I’m behind the ball now, still struggling back to the starting line. Though this time I am truly educated, truly prepared for what life might throw at me. I think it is likely that my greatest struggles are now behind me. We can never know what the future will hold, I could be struck by lightning today and it could all be over. We are not the masters of our own lives and we are not in control, we just think we are, and so we try our best to drive and steer around the obstacles not knowing that the engines about to blow. It is the best we can do.
Through everything, I know I am not a failure. Even though people laugh when I tell them my story and my dreams and goals, I am not a failure. My life is not going to follow a conventional path, but it will be an extraordinary one. Though I secretly hope I do, it seems unlikely I will ever marry or have kids, but this does not make me a failure. My mistakes and my shortcomings do not make me a failure. Because I am getting better, I am on the mend, and though anxious and frightened, I am prepared for anything. I know what I need to change, I know what I need to stay away from, I know what I need to do in order to be successful in my own eyes, and it is closer than anyone believes.
Live was not meant to be easy. Life was not meant to be anything. It just is. So we live, learn, fall down, fail, trip up, fall down again, get trampled on, laughed at, mocked, but then we get back up. I will keep getting back up. I will not submit to a life of just ‘getting by’ or just ‘surviving’. I will keep getting up until I am exactly where I want to be and then I might ‘lay down’ instead. Soon now, I will turn around confidently and say that I am happy, that I am where I want to be.
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. – Thomas Edison