I had a different plan for this post. Originally i had a few themes I ended up saving for later. I started having a conversation with one of my friends. She is twenty-six like me, graduated with me from our BA. but she didn’t go straight to her MA because she didn’t want to stay in school here. For different reasons we both put of leaving. And for both things get hard. In her case the classic thing many people our age are hearing. Why doesn’t she get a job, why doesn’t she do something. It’s exhausting to hear (mainly because eve of you get a low paying job then the critiques becomes why don’t you look for something better). And she has reason to feel wasted down by all this.
When I told her of my plan she was up for it, and at first we began thinking of doing it together but we want different things. Doesn’t mean we are still not helping each other out. There in lies the rub. the biggest problem with these life changes, and I know I have said before in this blog, its fear. We are afraid of failing, of not getting what we see in our heads. There is this idea of success and how fast and easy one must get it that instantly locks us down. This idea of instant amazing and recognized success that has come from places like reality competitions or the odd cases of first try wonders it becomes harder to deal with the idea that it could take work to get to that.
There is this fear of failure and the problem is it’s not just the person taking the chance, it’s everyone around them. It’s like if someone was watching a high diver and began yelling at them of all the things that could happen. For all you know this high-diver could have made a perfect plunge. And the added fears and stress could cause at best a bad execution at worse a head against a the diving board. Maybe it’s an extreme example but you see where I am going with this. The more she gets told that she might fail, the more she believes it, the more her mind makes it real.
The mind is a powerful thing and it can be easily persuaded. We get convinced to not do something and then we live thinking of the what if. Sure failure can lead to unhappiness, but there was the possibility of success, even if not to the size imagined. It’s like when one imagines a drawing and then tries to do it. It might not be the work of art you imagined in the MOMA with critiques praising it, but it’s a work that is also good and has its own value. But if you leave the fear of not getting the museum space get to you, nothing happens. You become stagnant. everyone knows what happens in stagnant water, and a stagnant mind is no different. Water needs to flow and so does life. There are challenges yes, there is a possibility of failure, of falling flat on your face. But there is also the possibility of getting to it. Think about it, it’s one thing to protect someone you care about and remind them that life has a funny way of working out and it might not be how they expected it; it’s another whole thing to convince them that they will be better of just not trying at all.