Thursday, May 14, 2015

Fail yours and fail wells

I am almost at the conclusion of the break between semesters that constitutes my Spring vacation. Not a vacation from writing, but from the job description I send to the government every year. At the beginning of the break I had high expectations about how to use this free time. Twice the number of chapters was my first thought. I doubled down on that and imagined even that I could write every day. In fourteen days, I could finish the novel.

With four days left of my vacation, I have two chapters written, and not even two complete chapters. I went in and worked on two which were short and unrealized and poorly executed. It took me time to figure out where I was in the story, and even then I don't find myself very well grounded. I rushed it. I panicked, thinking that if I didn't start, I would never start. And if I never started, how could I ever finish?

The rest of the time was spent seeing friends, and I didn't even get to see them all. Maybe in general I am the type to make plans and then not follow through. I feel like things used to be different. I have to admit that when people compliment my work ethic, it feels good. It makes my whining feel more justified. "I'm doing the work," I say, and no one I talk to frequently disagrees with me. I guess that means I'm either doing the work, or I haven't surrounded myself with people who will push me.

Regardless, even if it was on accident, I'm feeling back to my old self. The person I was back before I would experience another series of professional set backs and failures. The person who had a plan, and was quietly going about executing it. One of the friends I caught up with hit his own set of road blocks, and spiraled out into his own coping mechanisms when confronted with that rejection. I guess it happens to all of us.

This morning I won't be writing because I am attending a ceremony, the last ceremony for a school that is closing its doors. Once, it feels like a while ago, I worked there, and it really helped my heart to assist with the matriculation of individuals who were in dire straits. Upside down, turned about, angry, and hurt, and lost. It was dark for them, and all I had was a match's length of light. It wasn't a lot, but I also had some amazing co workers, and together, for some of those young people, we were able to provide a path. I speak of my own pitfalls, but for many of these individuals, what is to come is a sight deeper, and a sight darker than the average trap. I will not dress in black.

Nor will I mourn. Because the occasion of the ceremony is a graduation. Some of them made it, and however few that did, however many years the school was open, no matter what percentage of young people that were helped, they allow for the choice to highlight the failures, or celebrate the successes. Today, I think, I will choose to believe that the failures are what make the triumphs so valuable. That there is good in the bad times. That being able to choose is an objectively good thing.

Thus, in a season of loss, I am focusing on my gains, like the welcome little flame atop a candle in the dark.

No comments:

Post a Comment