In Search of Failure
I’ve been failing in grand style lately. In fact, I’m killing it so much in the “failure arena”, that I’m succeeding in failing beyond my wildest dreams.
In just the past few weeks, I’ve managed to become so irritated at work that I used a week of my vacation time to just stay home.
I’ve gotten into enough debates and arguments with my son that I couldn’t even muster up a blog post for Father’s Day for fear of feeling like a hypocrite.
I’ve found myself dropping F bombs so much that my self affirmations have turned into self denials – which are way easier to abide by, by the way.
What’s the point of all of this, you may ask?
Well, it seems that as we have just left the Fourth of July in the U.S. this weekend, there has been yet another debate about whether we are really succeeding as a country. Protests, pandemics and an impending election have given lots of ammunition to the debate on whether we are really succeeding or failing as a nation.
I say, I feel you, U.S.A. Bring it in for a hug. I got you.
You see, failure is sort of my wheelhouse – not in a corporate “tell us your biggest failure and what you learned from it” sort of way. No – rather in a grand “oh, shit – what is happening right now?” sort of way.
And it seems that this is the exact moment we are living through – or at least many of us are living through. Systems that seem to be ripe for a reckoning. Historical constructs that are not just being challenged by a few but by many. Debates that not only end up in decisions at the ballot box but also decisions in our day to day lives – work, relationships and societal norms – from who we listen to on the radio to which social media sites we support or stores we are willing to purchase from.
The collective outcry from many is “you have failed us” and this is right up my alley. You see, I get a performance review of sorts every day -from my kids, my boss, colleagues, friends and family and even strangers on either side of the great mask dispute of 2020. Much of this is out there in the open – maybe not on social media or the cable news networks but certainly for those I care most about to witness and experience.
What is happening to me is what is happening to America. Stuff has to be let out. Things need to be disrupted. Comfort has to cease. Things need to fail. It’s ugly.
It means embracing temporary (I hope) dysphoria and settling for less than successful outcomes as communication, interactions, plans and growth as we considered it, go on hiatus for a bit. It just may be that we can’t fix things – the environment, our economy, social inequality, our relationships, the damn modem – until we search for the failure first. Where did things go wrong? Why did they go wrong? How did I go wrong?
That’s where I am right now. In search of failure and finding it like a kid at Halloween in a 100 unit apartment complex – more than I ever imagined.
I think it’s going to be like this for a while. I hope not but it feels that way. If we get it right though, maybe we won’t have to search as hard for a little success. It’ll be the most attainable thing yet.
Until next time,