Let's talk about failing.

I don’t want this to be inspirational. I’m not a particularly optimistic person, rather, I’m pretty sure I’d be considered a pessimist. So when I was laid off for the second time in four months, your girl was not seeing the bright side of things. Not to completely focus on the negative, but in 2019 so far (3 months in), my beloved family dog passed away, I lost not one, but two jobs, have been experiencing health problems and have had many road blocks in some personal endeavours. These are some pretty devastating blows in a short amount of time. But I want to talk about them and heres why.

I appreciate social media a lot. It is basically my job (in marketing) and a fantastic way for me to connect with friends and family all around the world. The thing is, social media is fake af. Everyone’s happy all the time. Everyone’s successful all the time. And worst of all - no one talks about the struggles. This makes everyone believe that if they’re not upholding the same standards, they’re failures themselves. Everyone’s dealing with the same stuff, but in different ways and I want to focus on why it is important to have these discussions.

I’m not a positive Polly

Let’s talk about being overly optimistic. I’m not, and I’ve found that it feels like everyone wants to focus on the positives when you deal with something striking like losing a job, etc. Now, I appreciate the love and support that I am given but we need to talk about this. However, you have permission to be mad. You can take as much time as you need to feel okay. Be fricking sad. Get off your routine for a bit - if you’re like me, and got off your gym schedule during this time, don’t fret. Take time for yourself and then get back on track. It’s taken about three weeks of being a sad gal before I’ve started being proactive about my situation. It may take you longer or you may feel better right away - I just want to say that you don’t always have to promote yourself to be having a grand ol’ time if you’re not.

You can’t plan for everything

Vague inspirational photo of someone climbing a mountain to symbolize … honestly who cares. [Credit:  Johannes Rapprich ]

Vague inspirational photo of someone climbing a mountain to symbolize … honestly who cares. [Credit: Johannes Rapprich]

I’m very grateful for being nominated for being valedictorian for my class this year. However, I wrote a speech that most likely won’t be heard by most people as I was not selected by the selection committee (another blow in the year of 2019). The central theme was about planning, and I want to reiterate the ideas that were presented during that time. The main ideas begin to talk about how I am a very intense planner. If you’ve been following along, last year I wrote a blog post called This is why you should have a planner. I focus a lot on organization, time management and living a more stress-free life. I must admit, as much as I’d like to say I’ve been improving on being less neurotic about planning my life, I haven’t. One thing I have learned though is that you can’t plan for everything.

We all have short term goals. Whether it’s to graduate from university, trying something new or doing something you’ve planned to for forever but haven’t kicked yourself in the butt. However, if we’re asked, most people also have an idea for long-term goals as well. This is where I have learned that I am the source of my own failure. Sounds dramatic? Let’s explain.

Five-year plans

Michelle obama.png

Since I was seventeen, I have planned out my five year life plan to a T. Before I headed off to university I planned that on my third co-op term, I would get a job abroad. I knew I was going to graduate in December 2018 and had been anticipating four years of university, then continued living in this city. Boy, was I wrong. I never got a job abroad and worst of all I had to stay extra long to complete my degree. Although I was completely miffed that my plan was not unraveling in the way I wanted it, I continued to make strict five year plans. Every year I have a crisis about how my life is not “on track.”

On track! That’s not even a thing! I have been the source of my own failure because I impose rigid limits upon myself. I think if I don’t complete things by a certain time, I’m unsuccessful. If I have to stay four more months of university, my life is over. Here’s the thing: I’m at the end of those four months and I am okay. In the grand scheme of life, will a couple months difference make a huge impact? Probably not.

Things don’t go as planned. Shit happens. Sometimes you fail - and sometimes you fail all at once. I’m here to say although I’m not on the upside of this situation just yet, know that even if someone looks like they have it all together, they have the same struggles as you. If you’re going to take anything from this, please know that it’s great to highlight the positives in your life, but please don’t hesitate to reach out to people if you need to. I’m always willing to talk if you need a buddy to chat with. Good luck and maybe things will get better.


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