28 Dec FACING FAILURE
“the archive” december 28, 2016
Failure is a curly redhead with porcelain skin and curves in all the right places. She sits on the corner of my desk, legs crossed, one foot swinging back and forth, face frozen in a permanent smirk. She knows everything I’m not.
Failure is a statuesque warrior woman with firm muscles under deep brown skin and fire in her eyes. She stands beside my desk, hands on hips, shoulders back- confident in her role as a wonder of a woman. She looks me up and down and snorts her disapproval.
Failure is the frequently changing face. The family member. The forgotten child. The former friend. Failure’s everything I want to be and everything I’ll never be and everyone I disappoint. So many voices in my head. Whispering. Accusing. Judging.
Failure is a brown haired, green eyed screw up covered in weird red moles who tries so hard and wants so much and wonders why she’s so flawed and fragile.
“You failed again,” she says. “You always fail.”
I hang my head, ashamed of the pattern of obsession without follow through. The unfinished manuscripts. Neglected websites. Gaming campaigns awaiting closure. Tests to be created. Relationships left to simmer.
I try and try again. I fail and fail again.
The ADHD diagnosis gave me a reason. The medication gave me hope. But here I am again, surrounded.
“Failure,” they whisper. “Flawed, unworthy failure.”
I slump in my chair, give in to their attack. The words wash over me; the voices so familiar they’ve become the best of friends.
I lift my head and face my firing squad. My perception of sexiness. My vision of strength. My family and friends, speaking words of memory and make-believe. Me.
They merge into one and I am alone with myself.
“Don’t bother,” I say. “You’ll only screw up again.” I’m so sure of myself, so dismissive. My tone drips with condescension.
Would I speak this way to a friend? Would I accept this m a friend? No.
I say it aloud.
“I won’t screw it up. Or maybe I will. But I’m still trying. I’m still living.”
I pull my laptop closer to me. Open a document. Give myself a tentative smile.
“I fail,” I whisper. “I’m not a failure.”
I try to believe it. The voices shift perspective, if not tone. We’re a work in progress.
“Stop remembering everything you’re not,” they say, “and forgetting who you are.”
I nod and sit up straighter in my chair. I am stubborn, I am strong, and I will not give up.
At least, not today.