The problem with me is that even the smallest blip of failure sends me into a tailspin. You know, like: HOMG I failed to get this stain out of my shirt!1!11 I must be killed, preferably by stoning in the streets courtesy of several large bearded men.
Or slightly bigger blips, like: HOMG I didn't send that email one time!1!1! I must be killed, preferably by something a little more serious than large bearded men with stones. This time, I deserve to be eaten by lizards. And so on and so forth until the whole mess of my life escalates into some non-stop fantasy about the many and varied ways I could be punished for my long list of ridiculous failures.
But the thing is...I didn't realise how quiet it would seem, to really fail at something. To suspect you've failed at something much larger, like life, which really should have a fallout the size of Mt. Everest. Technically speaking, if I've failed at something as monumental as life itself, I should be stoned by lizards so big they might as well be dinosaurs, before being eaten by a giant vagina that mysteriously opens up in the centre of the world.
Or something like that. Something big, and impossible, like a world vagina. But no world vagina seems to be coming. For the last year, I've been deathly certain that I've failed at life - probably because I'm thirty-one and that's the age for these sorts of things - but all I feel is this odd kind of emptiness. I keep waiting for a lizard with stones in his hands to carry me off, for the mortal sin of enduring terrible agony at the hands of my boss then not wanting to be a teacher anymore, but no lizard comes.
I mean, for God's sake, man. I'm exhausted over here. When am I gonna be stoned? Just get on with it already! But nothing happens. Not even when I start in on the next life failure I'm certain is around the corner, just waiting for me: failure as a writer. Rejection, poor sales, bad reviews, a feeling of being shunned forever by God knows who...all of these contribute to my feeling of being a failure as a writer in an almost neverending spiral of doom and gloom.
And yet still I'm not freaking out. I'm just adrift on a sea of nothingness, waiting for my real life to begin. The life I thought I'd have back when I was still young and impressionable and knew nothing of lizard people or vagina worlds or the like.
Which just makes me wonder if I've moved past anger and denial and am now slap bang in the middle of acceptance. Here lies my life. Died aged twenty-nine. Still waiting for the rest of me to catch up, worse luck.
Or maybe it's just that I've become more practical, now. I realise that the tiniest thing - a thing you may not even think about, at the time of its thingness - is true happiness. That the real joy of life is in being safe and warm, and having someone to love you. That it comes from just that one moment when something went right for you for once - hell, some people out there never have anything go right for them at all.
For all the millions of times I've despaired over being treated badly or endured something horrible at work or been mired in the middle of some sort of writing failure, there are a billion people out there who don't even know what those things are. There are a million writers who never, ever even get to see one single solitary story published. There are a billion people who can't have a bowl of Angel Delight when they want one. Who can't cheer themselves up by watching The Office. Who don't have a husband who loves them - instead they have a husband who hates them or a husband that doesn't exist or the husband they want to have is the wrong gender or colour or religion or level of attractiveness.
But I have all of these things - the Angel Delight and The Office and the husband. So even if my career goes wrong and I never make it as a writer, I'll be okay. I'm sure I will. I spend most of my life thinking: I only ever hope for the tiniest little crumb of anything and never even get that most of the time, but the thing of it is:
I already have this gigantic muffin cake composed of a million crumbs, right here.