Failure Examined

Well I’ve been back in the United States for well over a month now after my time over in Europe was cut dramatically short by a series of unfortunate events that I won’t get into right now, as that’s for another post some other time. But what a funny feeling it is to be back home in a country that doesn’t feel all to familiar anymore.

To have to relearn little habits that were temporarily forgotten in place of new little habits. To have to get use to being around a life that was completely separate from the one over seas. It’s almost as if a book was set down to begin another, but the second book was ripped from my hands and burned in front of my very eyes by a malicious creature. So now the first book, clumsy and unfamiliar in my hands has to be re-picked up and begun from the page I left off on, although all the other characters in the book are chapters ahead of me now.

Or hell you can even compare it to transferring a fish into a new tank. Except before you transferred the fish you didn’t let the waters get to be quite the same temperature. So when you dump the fish into it’s new home it seems a bit dumb dazed and confused for the first few minutes as it has to rapidly readjust to survive from pure shock.

Or something like that at least.

The feeling of failure was quite potent the first couple weeks of being back home, shortly followed by depression. Now this isn’t to say I was completely miserable and hated my life or anything like that. As humans are complex beings, capable of feeling multiple emotions at any time. Things aren’t quite so black and white all the time. I was happy to be back, don’t get me wrong, and to see all my friends and family, but who I was as a person, and the direction of my life was deeply effected.

All I’d been working and planning for for the next year was now over in a turn of a day. The worst case scenario hadn’t even been touched, for this fate was far far beyond that, or anything I could have imagined. I suddenly had to figure out how to continue forth with my life, how to proceed now that I was back home, jobless, schooless, and so on. It was quite the reality check.

But failure is a sort of funny thing. As I said things aren’t always so black and white, and failure if looked at in a certain light is not such a bad thing. For failure offers opportunity. It offer the opportunity to step back and breath for a quick second. To examine ones cards, to evaluate what was lost and what was gained, and how to build something new with this new hand. And generally the new things is often grander and more beautiful than whatever you had before.

For even though you failed not all was lost, not at all. Sure you didn’t reach your end goal, but the end goal isn’t the only tangible thing to be gained from a journey. For between the beginning and the end so much is to be gained.

A load of experience to be had and learned from. Experience that wouldn’t have been found and had if you hadn’t attempted your goal, and that experience sticks with you regardless of the outcome of the task. And if the task does fail then additional knowledge is gained. The knowledge of how to do better next time.

For there is always a next time, or next project, or next journey. So failing shows how to avoid future pitfalls. What works and what doesn’t. Ect. ect.

But perhaps most importantly failure pulls one out of whatever tunnel vision they may have been engaged in. It rips you out of where you were, and allows you to examine other opportunities in your life. You can really examine what it was your were doing in a more unbiased light, which can offer insight that wasn’t there before. Or perhaps even make you realize that what you were really doing was foolish or even wrong, but you couldn’t see it at the time for you were completely enveloped by it.

As when you’re enveloped in something the lines become a little bit more blurred and blended to fit your will and end goal, which can be dangerous and maybe even not at all what you wanted and were going for in the first place. You were just so blinded that you couldn’t see it.

So, failure is not always a bad thing. It should be welcomed and praised. As all great things are not ever done in their first attempt. And great things wouldn’t have been so great if they had not been failed, modified, reexamined, re-put together and approached in new ways under new lights.

I’m in the process of re putting the pieces back together now, and forming a new future game plan. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t all enjoyable to do and to fail, and there’s a long way yet to go. BUT I’m grateful in certain ways that it did happen, and I’m glad things are still moving forward and a new hand has been dealt to play with. For the future still looks bright, and still remains an adventure.

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