So, I ended the year with a bad date. The kind of bad date that crushes your biggest hopes about finishing the year in style, kissing under the mistletoe and going on ski trips together before the winter is over.
I realized that had happened somewhere before the second half of my hot chocolate, but something lead me to order a lemonade also. It was as if letting go of this last date was the hardest thing I had to do this year. Admit that even though I was sitting across a handsome funny guy, he was another 2017 fail, as any trace of attraction I was trying to find wasn’t there to begin with.
I won’t tell you how long I dragged out the date, but somewhere in the middle of the movie we went to see, I got up, made up some stupid excuse and went home. Just like that, the epiphany of failure hit me:
Failure and the strength to admit it and move on, without trying to turn it into a compromise for success, is what life is made of.
Thus, while driving home and trying to ignore the enthusiastic Whatsapp texts my bad date kept sending me, I started thinking about my failures this year. The kind of failures that are so hard to face, that they make you eager to accept any compromise that could turn them around, into something you are able to fit into your life.
This can be either 10 year long relationships that are nothing more than mental safety nets, or long distance limbos that make up the best excuse for not committing to someone you know is not the one, to jobs you cling onto just because they represent your comfort zone, to friends you see twice a year but you hang on to because they use to mean much more when you were in the first grade.
I think accepting failure, or on a smaller scale – accepting when something is over – is the best thing the past year has taught me.
I’ve learned that most of the time, people aren’t paying attention to what you do with your life and that this can let you get away with some crazy shit if you gather the balls to do it. This failure, of ruining your image in front of others, is only in your head. Go for the adrenaline, because no one is watching.
I’ve learned that love doesn’t end when a relationship does, or when a plane takes off, no matter if that is what you decide. That loving someone and being loved back, without any blood ties to give you that for granted, is probably the best feeling in the world. Because love isn’t for granted. And neither is love a guarantee that it will work out. Separate what could have been from how good it has been, keep it within you, and move on. This is the kind of failure that I would welcome any day, the kind that would have been a huge success, probably in another life.
I’ve learned that you should never say never, and that life has a funny way of teaching you that. That today’s never can be tomorrow’s now, and that you can win something from every situation, if you are open minded enough to understand that your reality isn’t the same with everybody else’s. This is the failure that sometimes comes from trying out new things, and this one is usually a lot of fun.
I’ve learned that you can be attracted to totally opposite personalities, because each of them relates to opposite parts in you. I’ve learned that opposites do attract, but that they don’t last. And that searching for extremes will usually lead you to failure – thus, it’s best to search for balance.
I’ve learned that you can find solutions to almost anything, if you try hard enough. That some failures can be tricked by simply doing your research, putting in the effort to finding the doors that lead to more doors, asking for advice or for help from others, being resilient and trying over and over again.
I’ve learned that making a change can be as easy as packing your bags when a situation no longer suits you, but that the real change is the one within you, which is extremely difficult to make and has a lot to do with accepting why you started packing your bags in the first place.
I’ve learned that very few people will show you their truth, and that when they do, you shouldn’t use it to feel better about yourself, because other people’s failures are not your success. Instead, you should understand that being given the opportunity to see someone for who they really are is the best compliment you will ever receive.
I’ve learned that the best gift you can give someone is your time. That what can seem like a boring failed weekend for you can be the time of their life for others, and that sometimes – just because of that – you should be generous with your time, and rethink what failure means.
I’ve learned that no matter how much you refuse to accept it, we all have a one way ticket for the same ride, but that the same destination can be reached by walking on different paths. And walking on different paths does not mean that others will fail at living the ride to the fullest.
I’ve learned acceptance goes a long way, failure or non failure related. And that you should not hold on to things, because things have a way of constantly changing, and if you can learn to accept that and embrace the things that take their place, you will avoid a lot of drama. And bad dates.