Monday, June 08, 2015

two months, failure, etc.

Today marks two months since I left home. Since I boarded a plane and shifted myself to the other side of the world. For what? For something I couldn't find at home. For an adventure, one that felt so incredibly necessary. And yet, if I'm honest, the past two months have been characterised by intense emotional experiences that have tested everything I thought I knew about myself and this decision that I made.

Nothing good is easy. We appreciate things more when it takes a little something of us to get where we want to be. Only, sometimes you underestimate how much you have to give, how much of yourself you have to open up to get to that good. And sometimes, as you find these little pieces of yourself falling away, you wonder if the sacrifice is worth it. If the good is enough to compensate you for the loss.

They're questions I can't answer yet. They're questions I may never be able to answer. Maybe the point is in asking them at all, with no promise of an answer. Like moving to the other side of the world, with no promise of anything at all.

It's early summer in London right now and the sun rises before 5am. I lay in the single bed of my temporary home and stare our the window, thinking thoughts. I find myself musing like that quite often, moments when I'm alone and the city is spinning past me and I can stare out a window or across a street or straight ahead and just let my mind go. And often, more often than not, I find myself circling back to one theme. Failure.

I found the following quote on Brainpickings, my go-to site for, well, just about everything. And it feels quite pertinent right now. 

'The word failure is imperfect. Once we begin to transform it, it ceases to be that any longer. The term is always slipping off the edges of our vision, not simply because it's hard to see without wincing, but because once we are ready to talk about it, we often call the event something else - a learning experience a trial, a reinvention - no longer the static concept of failure' - Arts Advocate Sarah Lewis, in her book The Ride: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery

Before I left for London, a work colleague told me not to be afraid of failure. But, it's difficult to be afraid of something that you can't quantify. Something you cannot accurately describe. After all, what is failure? I've never been able to articulate exactly why I'm here, so what exactly does it mean to fail?

And if Sarah Lewis is right, it doesn't matter anyway. Because what might feel like a failure today, will be an experience tomorrow. 

kb xx