I can almost hear your head buzzing with wobbly cells, as if they’ve sniffed some crack.
How often do you read, or hear someone say, ‘Try. Try again’? It has become the most BLAND, LABORIOUS, TIRING, TRYING statement, I’ve ever come across. Hang on, I’m not done yet.
I live with performance anxiety—the fancy, evil wizard who mocks you, and shows you a well-defined, drastic picture where you astoundingly FAIL in the important events of your life/ career, where you want nothing, but to succeed.
What happens in a hypothetical picture, doesn’t always stay in the hypothetical picture.
Come with me on a brief, interesting tour of the torment I go through. In most of the mental pictures orchestrated by the evil wizard in my mind, related to the events I’m supposed to excel at, first, I try to command my memories (more like begging) to function better, ‘Hey you, it’s your turn! Please do your job, NOW!’
You know, I simply ask them to tell me, what I had asked them to tell me when I ask them to tell me. Not much of a task, yeah? It’s what they’re for.
But the memories stand still—in union—resting their hands on their backs, swinging side-to-side on their positions, waving antennas on their heads, moving their eyes up and up, with no care in the world, before finally responding, ‘Who, we? Haha. No way.’
Thereafter and horrendously, I see my confidence transform into a run-away-bride, when she throws her hands in the air, runs away, and screams at the top of her lungs, resolving to never come back to me.
Poor me. Left alone with the high-pitched laughter of the evil wizard.
Nooooo! How can I ever—ever—want that obscene hypothetical picture to be released in the real world?
And hence, I’ve been putting off this project for too long. Though being done with building my website, I hadn’t been able to hit the publish button.
I. Just. Can’t. Write. Good. Enough.
But the other day, while I’m in loo, going on with my business, suddenly arrives Epiphany—wearing a crisp blazer, hot pants, cool shades, and a hat tilted on its side.
Dang, she’s got fashion sense with a big F.
‘You’re waiting for the perfect picture, aren’t you?’ Her voice echoes in my barely-big-enough washroom.
I can’t help but give her a wide-eyed stare.
She adds, ‘Well aren’t you ambitious.’
That’s the sweet sarcasm, isn’t it? I gulp some more air, ‘I think, you can say. But if I’m not—not doing—enough about it—you know…’ Why, in the name of Julius Caesar , am I stuttering all of a sudden!
Epiphany nods like a wise sage, only younger, and with a YOU-OWE-ME-A-FAVOUR attitude, ‘You fear.’
I expect better from her. ‘Yes, um—could you wait till I get out? This is not much of a nice room. Or, a room.’
Of course, not.
Her poker face and silence, imbibe an urgency for me to fill in the conversation: ‘It’s the fear of embarrassing myself; it’s the fear of what would befall on me after I fail. Because I’ve been there, and it’s not a good place to be in. People judge, laugh, make you an object of their ridicule.’
‘You don’t like it,’ she says with her museum-like poker face.
‘Well, I do manage people’s judgements, and ridicules pretty well; I don’t let them define me. But it’s still the fear of the incoming, that drives me bulldozers.’
‘The fear to fail.’
I’m sorry, ARE WE GOING ANYWHERE WITH THESE ROBOT-LIKE RESPONSES? My nostrils flare a bit. She doesn’t notice. Or, she does. I suppress my irritation, ‘Well, yeah (duh!), makes me stagnant. And I absolutely hate being stagnant.‘
‘You don’t like being stagnant.’
By this time, I’m done. ‘No.’
She lets out a deep breath, takes off her shades, looks me into the eyes, comes closer, and says,
‘Then darling, FUCKING FAIL.’
What the—truck! She shouts in my ears that have been doing just about okay without the hearing aids, in this brutally honking world.
Epiphany puts her shades on, adjusts her hat, takes a long breath, and looks monstrously calm for someone who had screamed as if I were going to be run over by a train. What did I do to her? Did I accidentally summon her while she was enjoying the sun, on a motor boat in Hawaii?
Before I could gather some sense to ask, she utters a melodious ‘Ta-taa!’ and vanishes.
Wait—oh—something ’bout—fudging fail—what?
∗ Tiled wall stares back at me. ∗
I shake my head, roll my eyes, come back to my room, walk to my desk, look out of the window, and suddenly, I can SEE. You know, what they say about a fog being lifted from the eyes—they’re right.
It all boils down to this:
If I allow myself to fail, I can finally find amusement in the many failure rides, instead of wallowing in the catastrophic picture drawn by the fancy, evil wizard, who sits on the nervous, muscular throne inside my brain.
I can endure whatever ideas of failure are thrown at me, when I’d be much more present in the experience of the process, rather than pining for its success.
The most important consequence of this is that, it opens a whole channel to experience more of life, by doing whatever the heck I truly love, without trying not to step on an ant. I can stop waiting, and begin living life instead, while I meticulously plan out the details needed to reach my next milestone.
But what if I fail to fudging fail?
She knows I’m such a failure, I could, at some point, fail to fail, which definitely wouldn’t be so bad, after all! Who doesn’t love a fat toast of success!
Hence—hold your hats—that’s what I’m here to do now on.
I might absolutely fail at my task of writing good enough, of reaching out to y’all, of making any difference, of bringing any awareness, whatsoever. And you’re going to tell me how tragically I fail—free and fully-welcomed criticisms! It’s a win-win, y’all.
Don’t just wait outside my door now, bring yourselves RAW, and pour your love, joy, kindness; OR vent out till your hearts’ deep-as-shit desires.
Remember the blah mantra, ‘Try. Try again’? It’s been tried too many times. I sentence it to be hanged. This second.
Fail. Then darling, fail again.
And don’t forget to take crunchy care, Potatoes.