It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.
– J.K. Rowling
I was having a conversation with a dear friend about the future, and I was telling her of all these plans and dreams I had, when she said to me, “Indira, you just have it all figured out!” I find it amusing that this is the vibe I give off, because I truly have nothing figured out at all. In fact, most days I think that I have no idea what I am supposed to do, and at the bottom of all of my insecurities lies a huge fear of failure.
At her commencement speech to Harvard’s class of 2008, J.K. Rowling said, “Poverty itself is romanticised only by fools.” There are countless of people, both great and small, who are anxious to tell you that money does not buy happiness, and that failure is a great stepping stone to success. While I am sure that there are cases when both of these statements are absolutely true, I can attest from my own bitter eye-witness accounts that they can also be false. Because I have lived through times in my life when money would have most definitely bought my family happiness, and when failure was not a stepping stone to anywhere great. It was just failure. Period. I’ve seen people fail. I am afraid of failing like they did.
I have two great fears for how my life will turn out. First, I am afraid of being poor. I have been there, I have done that, and I have no desire to repeat the experience again. Second, I am afraid of living an average, ordinary life. These are my two great fears, but I fear being poor a teaspoon more than I fear living an ordinary life. Which is why I am constantly questioning my decisions.
I live, breathe, eat my dream of being a world-renowned journalist. I talk about it all the time. I practice speeches and mock-interviews in front of my best friends, Katie and Brenda. I hoot and holler how I’ll win awards, and I write blog posts as if I have any business writing at all. What I don’t ever talk about is the doubt that at time consumes me; the fear that enters into my heart when I read yet another article that talks about how journalism, as a career, will soon disappear, or when another wise adult says, “There is no decent paying work for journalists!”
When I hear these things, I’m afraid I’m going to be poor and ordinary. I’m afraid that I will fail at my life.
I scratch my throat because it has gone slightly dry, and my stomach does a little flip, I remind myself what sets apart those that fail, and those that succeed. I have had the opportunity to see people fail, and I know that there greatest failure of all was to give up. By giving up, you fail eternally. So I close my eyes, and give myself a second to see the vision. The vision I have had my whole entire life. In this vision, I am Indira, a journalist, and I see lights and cameras, and somehow all of the attention is on me. In this vision, I am not a failure, I am a great success.
No matter how many times I fall down, or how many more people I watch fail, I will keep my vision tucked close by my heart, and I will always wake up in the mornings to try once again. Life is hard for everyone, but there are those who have the spirit to push past the obstacles, and those who let the obstacles take over them. I was born tackling obstacles; it has become a talent of mine. Which is why I know that all hardships come to an end eventually, and when they do, we need to be prepared to take control once again. As the great saying goes, “Fall down seven times, get up eight.”
With all my love,