I don't know which way to go. Any advice?

I Cry When I Think About Children’s Books

with one comment

the-little-engine-that-couldI thought about The Little Engine That Could the other day and I started crying. Let me explain . . .

A quote to start:

“To fail is a natural consequence of trying. To succeed takes time and prolonged effort in the face of unfriendly odds. To think it will be any other way, no matter what you do, is to invite yourself to be hurt and to limit you enthusiasm for trying.” – David Viscott

I am an emotional basketcase. But also . . .

I’ve experienced a lot of rejection this year. I’ve made what feels like an embarrassing number of missteps. I’ve experienced a lot of criticism. And felt dumb, a lot. The last few days I’ve been thinking about failure. What it means to fail? Mostly I’m trying to distance myself from the idea that failure is always a reflection of ability. Isn’t it the most natural thing in the world to assume that if you fail, either by error or rejection or just plain bad luck, that it means you, the total you, are a failure?

The other day my dad–whom I do not usually share my deep insecurities with and so would never know about my very real fear that I might already be a failure–and I were talking about my job hunt and potential for “success.” He said, “Even if you fail, you can’t give up.” Of course, he didn’t know that he was saying just the thing that I needed to hear. Or that I would apply it to all of the obstacles I feel up against right now. But it was, and I am.

I’m lucky to receive plenty of support from my friends and family in regards to my writing.  I get a lot of the “you can do it” sentiment flung in my direction. But it’s all too easy to think, “What if I can’t?”

My dad’s words offered an answer and reminded me that failure is not the marker by which I should measure whether I am able to accomplish something or not. I don’t think this particular struggle is going away anytime soon, but these brief moments of clarity are a nice relief from the unrelenting monologue in my head.

And I can’t wait until the day when I can say, “I thought I could.” Sooner rather than later would be best, of course.


Written by ditheringmiss

October 20, 2009 at 9:50 pm

One Response

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  1. That is a great book. If you just keep pushing and keep thinking you can, you will. But you have to believe in yourself.

    Good luck to you.

    Unemployed Guy

    October 21, 2009 at 8:34 am

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