On Failure

"No victor believes in chance." - Nietzsche

I have been losing lately. In competition, in discipline, in creativity. This will be the first and likely only post for 2017. I don't think I read a single book this year. I weigh more than I ever have. I've written nothing. Instead, I funneled nearly all my free time into a mind-numbing game. Spent the better part of the year with my head buried in my phone, compulsively checking and rechecking, and checking again out of pure habit.  2017 is the 365 night stand we wish we could forget. The tumultuous political climate, a slew of mass shootings, and an outpouring of sexual assault victims have cast a specter of despair over this year. The guilt of impotence burrows deep. And while it is tempting to unload my failures on these tragedies, I would have failed without them. This post isn't about shitting on 2017, or damning technology for mainlining dopamine. Its about me and how I blew it this year. 

Only losers are interested in the lessons of failure. Winners learn no lessons. And why should they? Their best was enough. Their mistakes amount to nothing. Chance played no role in their success. cause winning. One remembers none of their wins, but is haunted by thousands of almosts and if onlys. And while winning isn't edifying, it's vasty preferable to losing. And as this year ticks to an end, I'm forced to reckon with a year of lessons. 

I am tempted to delete Pokemon Go off my phone, deactivate social media, and swear off porn and booze forever. But it's not their fault I don't write. It's not their fault I don't read. Or go to the gym. Or have a career I'm proud of. It is a poor addict who blames his vices.

Despair isn't a punch to the face. It isn't obvious. It's a bed bug infestation. Coming for you while you sleep, tearing at you with tiny fangs, and leaving you scratching their fantom assault the next day. You may well wonder if you every truly got them all. It is an itch that never ceases.

Armchair psychology cures nothing, but I dimly remember that giving the finger to aging feels better than donuts. Writing is one of the only ways I begin to understand myself and I've taken the year off from self-scrutiny. Admitting to myself for the first time I've gone too far with my formidable distractions, I'm reminded of the life I could lead without them. Yet Pokemon Go stares longingly at me from my smartphone. My gym remains the longest five minute walk in the known universe. And somewhere in a drawer is a Kindle desperately in need of a charge. 

This post ends with no grand promises of new fury in 2018, no tempered optimism about overcoming addictions. I've solved nothing. Learned nothing new. I've merely looked failure in the eyes, something I've spent the last year avoiding. It waits for my next move.

No comments :

Post a Comment