Isn’t it weird how sometimes you work so hard on something, just to be kissed by failure at the end? And it’s not the soft, subtle kiss you find in those happy ever afters. It’s one of those kisses that makes your heart sink somewhere near your kidneys. The one that makes you doubt your very existence. It’s the kind of kiss that haunts you for the rest of your life.
The kiss of failure never comes alone. It comes with self-hatred, doubt, desperation, and despair. It slowly creeps on you from the back and jumps on you when you least expect it. But you fall so hard that the earth stops rotating on its axis and I’m sure the sound is so loud that the angels up in heaven can hear it too. I’m sure they’ve gotten used to it by now.
Failure isn’t the only thing that bothers me. The after effects are just as worse; like an earthquake. When it comes it rips and tears everything apart and the after-shocks are just as worse. They break what’s already broken.
It’s like your mind becomes your greatest enemy and the world transforms into a very dark place. The beautiful masks people wear come dripping off and you get to see their real faces and they’re not pretty. You understand your fall but along with that, you understand what value people around you have. You understand that the mountain you were climbing had faults of its own. I’m not saying that failure is a bad thing, but it isn’t something that gives you comfort. If there’s one thing I’ve learned that is- the mountains you want to climb won’t get smaller. The paths you want to voyage won’t get prettier. The journeys you want to travel won’t get easier. And the fall definitely won’t hurt less. But the real question is how badly do you want it? How badly are you willing to fail? To fall? To crash? To burn? And then to reform? If your will to reach the peak empowers all other wills, then even failure will bow down to you.
It’s hard, very hard to swim in an ocean that’s pulling you down, and yet here you are, trying to climb a mountain you can’t even see. But if you give in, the waves will drown you. If you fight, then maybe, just maybe the waves will give up and they’ll push you to the shore.
There was once a man in Halacin who wanted to become an artist, but his parents forced him to become a doctor because according to them an artist had no value. “Artists don’t get paid much. How will you live? How will you ever be happy?” the parents argued. The man wanted to please his parents, so he left his passion and went to med school. There he studied hard, but no matter how much effort he put into his work, he would always fail. His joy vanished, and his heart did not align with his head. Every second that passed by pulled him toward art, but the man did not give in.
Because the man was doing so poorly in med-school, he was kicked out. Having no other option, the man burned his books and set sail to begin his journey as an artist. His parents disowned him and because of that the man had to take odd jobs to support himself. He worked as a mechanic, a dishwasher, a servant, but he did not complain. He was happy because for the first time he was listening to that voice in the back of his head.
The man wandered for years, but he couldn’t find a destination. Every journey he would travel would lead him to more turns. The man, tired of being on the road for so long, and aimlessly walking around, became tired and decided to give up and go back to his parents.
His parents were willing to accept him on one condition; that he follow the journey they had chosen for him. The man did as he was told, but he was unhappy, and he failed miserably. He did not understand what life had in store for him, but he knew one thing that failing while dreaming didn’t hurt as bad as failing without any dreams. The man, even with failure constantly kissing him, understood one thing, that failure was inevitable and so was suffering. No matter what journey he chose he was bound to fail, but he could choose what type of failure he was willing to endure. And in that instance when he did not know which journey to choose, he understood that he was willing to fail again and again, on a journey that made him happy. He was willing to suffer on a journey without a destination because it made him value himself. It taught him that failure is just as important as success.
He told his parents that he was willing to suffer, but of his own accord. His parents, furious with him, kicked him out again. The journey his parents had seen for him was easy, but it didn’t make him happy. Yes, he had a clean bed and warm food, but he lacked the ambition to move forward. He lacked the desire to do something.
The man left his parents and aimlessly voyaged again. He faced many setbacks and there were times when he wanted to give up, but he always remembered the reason why he held on for so long. When the man finally climbed the mountain of despair and hopelessness, he saw victory, wearing a blue cape, waiting for him on the peak of the mountain.
“Took you long enough,” victory scowled. The man was baffled. He was mad, angry, and annoyed. He was furious at victory. He couldn’t hold in his tears anymore, so he wailed like a small child.
“Why?” The man cried. “I spent years searching for you. Did you not pity me at all?”
Victory smiled at the man and said, “Every time you took a step toward me, I took two steps toward you and every time you stopped, I stopped with you. Every time you doubted me I doubted you. We’re linked. Don’t you understand that you’ve made it here on the back of failure? It was your perseverance that bought me here, to you.”
I’m not saying that your path will be easy. It won’t. But comparing your journey to someone else’s won’t make things better. Failure is a part of life. Maybe instead of fighting it, we should learn to embrace it. Kiss it back with such passion that victory gets jealous. Learn, and move on. But remember, every fall of yours is bringing victory closer to you.