Ways I Failed

I dropped out of college in my senior year. A combination of my first live-in relationship, too much alcohol, a part-time job, and growing mental instability led me to flame out badly. I got overwhelmed, left college, stop talking to my family and simply fell apart. It broke my father’s heart. We later repaired the relationship before he died, but the failure remained even after I went back to school and finished up at Harvard Extension. I still have dreams that I’ve signed up for a class I’ve never attended.

I didn’t build a career. I’ve had wonderful amazing jobs but never kept them for long. It wasn’t planned, it all felt organic but every one-to-two years, I shifted. This was mostly due to two factors: my introversion made it hard to advance and my anxiety led me to paranoia about being fired. I’ve always been afraid of being let go or questions about my performance which led me to work too hard, care too much, and flame out too fast.

I never had a family. I had plenty of relationships but for a long time I was emotionally unstable, selfish, addicted, angry, and struggling to be normal. It never quite worked out. I was lucky later to meet my soulmate and make a good solid relationship and marriage, a gift I never thought I could have. He’s much younger and I worry some day he’ll regret not having children, that he’ll regret me.

I ignored my health. I eat too much sugar and I’m lazy. I never investigated why I was infertile. I know it’s PCOS but I never did anything to regulate it. I pay for health insurance I never use because I’m terrified of doctors.

I squandered my chances. Because I was afraid, because I was lazy, because I lacked follow through. I always imagined success would somehow find me rather than the other way around. I was wrong.

When I was in college the first time, I wrote a lot of angsty teenager poetry. Being trapped in a glass box, separate from the world was a regular theme. Am I still there now? Did I never leave?

When people write about failure online they often do it from a place of having suceeded, a view from the top down to the depths. What if, instead, failure isn’t about peaks and troughs, sometimes it’s just about a line, fading out…

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