Every kid gets a nickname. Mine was Failure.
For thirteen years, my greatest achievement was not failing grades 1-7. I came real close each year. Which is why the name made no sense. I never actually failed.
In the last few years, people who found success came out with a singular motivating spiel: the choices that defined their success was a direct result of failing to achieve something else. And just like that, my nickname had gone from demeaning to futuristic.
I was meant to fail because I am meant to succeed. How much weed did we have to run out of coming up with that?
Failure is like nudity. It’s okay for you to talk about the one time you forgot to take the towel to the bath, but it’s disturbing when you start describing, in detail, all the times people caught you naked. You perv.
The fetish for failure is a substitute for our obsession with success. It’s us not being able to come to terms with success’ settlement: boredom. Success is so boring you need your failures to give it some meaning.
So, at fifteen, the boring thing happened: I topped school. Now I can do the right thing and spend the rest of this essay shittin on all the people that called me a failure. But I am going to pretend I am bigger than that. Just the way I have been pretending to’ve been called a failure is what inspired me to turn things around.
My need to impress people was far higher than my need to find out what I was capable of and to admit that would mean my success felt phoney, which is exactly how it felt. Failure just helped me cover that.
You don’t need specialize in reality to figure society is spectacularly slow and shockingly dumb. To calibrate anything for or against society means living your life around its ideals. And the ideals of success and failure are its smoke and mirrors. We fall for the trick even after we know how it’s done, because that’s how bored we are.
This new shit about romanticizing failure is an outcome of that boredom. It’s telling you failure is temporary without telling you, so is success. And success doesn’t give a rat’s ass about how many times you have failed earlier. Its function is to make you believe you are different, deeper. Smoke.
When I was a failure, at least I didn’t have to pretend to be something else. But the moment I found the slighted success, I had to pretend that my failure had something to with it. If failure brought me closer to myself, success took me away.
It’s why we need our failures to recognize the person we see in the mirror.