I am a failure.
Or, maybe I should say, I feel like a failure -- as in lacking professional (and personal) success.
As in, no matter how hard I work or try, it seems I never succeed, or my efforts fail to get noticed or make money. Apparently, like the Despair.com poster says, my best just isn't good enough.
And as anyone who has studied really hard for a test, or spent days working on a paper, prepared really hard for a presentation, or worked her ass for a promotion or raise, only to get a poor grade, have the presentation fall flat, or get passed over for that promotion can tell you, failure sucks.
Sure, I know that somewhere out there there are people who have failed worse than I have. At least I think there are. I don't really know because you never (or rarely) read about them. Or you only read about them after they have failed and then become enormously successful. Or they failed so spectacularly that they make front page news.
Just read Inc. and Fast Company or The New York Times or Business Insider. (Or don't. It's reading all those entrepreneur and blogger success stories that got me to start my own blog and ecommerce business -- and into this funk.)
And while failing rarely feels good, social media has made us small-time, run-of-the-mill failures feel even worse. Indeed, if I am to believe everyone's Facebook or Twitter feed, I am the only failure out there.
By the way, for all of you out there reading this and saying "J! No wonder you are a failure. You have a bad attitude. You need to think positively! What you need is... a vision board!" Fuck you. And I mean that in the kindest, nicest way. It's like telling someone who is upset or stressed out "Just relax!" (Which doesn't work either.) Or "You need to meditate! And join a book club!" (Been there, done that. Feel worse.)
If I am a pessimist -- or, as I like to say, a realist -- it's because I did everything I was supposed to (or was told I needed or had to do); followed all the rules; and yet never won or got the promised reward. While I saw people who cheated or cut corners or just knew the right person get ahead.
Wait. What's that I hear? Tiny violins? Playing just for me? Yes, I hear them, too.
But the point of this post is not to elicit your sympathy. (Though if you do feel even the tiniest bit sorry for me or want to make me feel a little less like a failure, share a link to this blog and/or to my ecommerce clothing business on your social media feeds or blogs -- or just buy a t-shirt or polo shirt.)
Frankly, I'm not exactly sure what the point of this blog post is. Maybe it's to feel a little less alone -- to feel as though I am not the only one out there (or here) who spent days, or weeks, or months, or years laboring over something, really giving it my all, or my best, only to have it fall flat or not be noticed by anyone. (If you write an article or create a business and no one knows about it or talks about it on social media, have you actually written an article or created a business?)
Btw, that's not a call for you to one-up me with your failure stories. ("You think you failed? Let me tell you about the time I failed!") Or tell me about your dieting failures. (Please, I'm begging you, don't.) Or to humble brag about your failure. (Complaining about getting a million dollar bonus while your buddy got a five-million-dollar bonus does not make you a failure. It makes you a jerk.) But I could use, or would appreciate, a little company.
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