- Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings
To be honest, the Texas-Arkansas game a couple nights ago is what inspired this post.
As I was going to bed without even finishing the game, I couldn't stop thinking about Swoops** (the quarterback) and how embarrassing him and the whole team played. It literally kept me up at night. Because, here is this kid who became the starting quarterback of a huge school and still... he failed. Sure it's just one game. But all season long Texas was mediocre at best. I mean, maybe he is happy. Maybe he is satisfied. But, looking at his face, he seemed sad. He seemed disappointed. Yes, he made it to college football. But he didn't excel. He didn't succeed. So, did he fail?
A couple months away from graduation, I am becoming more and more aware of how hard it is to be successful. I mean, you could make it to the top and still be unsuccessful (in the world's eyes). And that scares the heck out of me. That makes me want to not even try. I just want to find a job that will pay my bills and settle for a seemingly purposeless life.
Call me selfish or entitled or dramatic or whatever-- but I don't want to just work to pay bills. But the thing I have to figure out is what scares me more? Failing or mediocrity? Failing trying for something I love or successfully doing something I just have to do to survive?
Is getting all the way to the top and still not really making it failing? Is that good enough? Is it worth it? Should I care? Should it keep me from trying?
I've never really been one of those people who got super angsty if someone revealed the big ending or plot twist to a movie/book/TV show, etc. I wouldn't go searching for spoilers, but if I happened upon one it wouldn't keep me from watching the movie or reading the book. Because, to me, the journey and the how they got to the big climatic surprise twist moment was more important. That was the part I was interested in.
Can that be true for my life? Am I more interested in how I get to where I get rather than where I get. Cause, really, we all arrive at the same place eventually. (The grave). And all these earthly riches and fame and glories or lack of fame and glories will disappear.
So maybe, just maybe, the point of life is to find that one thing that makes failing worth it and pursue that with everything you've got. Maybe failing at that is not actually failing at all.
And what's so scary about failing anyway? As much as I feel like everyone is riding on how well I do in life... no one actually cares. The only person I would really disappoint is myself. And I am slowly figuring out that I can't really trust myself. [ANGST]. And I shouldn't trust myself because myself is whacked up and says really dumb things to myself and just makes myself more sad and mad and angry than I was before. Stupid myself. Why can't we all just get along?
Life is scary. Life is hard. But life is just life. It has so many twists and turns and is so flexible and fluid. And in the heartache there is always some gold to pull from it. Life is fragile but life is only life. So, take a deep breath. Don't sweat so much. And go out there and make your way in the world. In your own unique way. And if you lose a football game or two or seven along the way, at least you got your hand on the football.
[These are the conversations I have with myself everyday.]
**I realize that I actually don't know much about football and Swoopes could be much better than I am giving him credit or whatnot. But just go with me.