Failure is the condiment that gives success it’s flavor.

I shipwrecked myself.

I had a goal and a deadline. I had a plotline and a series of characters that would interact with each other wonderfully and awkwardly and every bit in between. And somewhere along the way, I took a wrong turn (or deliberately ignored my GPS) and decided not to go to the final destination that I chose for myself nearly one month ago.

I had a dream of completing another novel this summer. I’m sure you guys heard about the plan in one of my previous posts — I think I even posted about it on another blog!

But I failed.

Worse than that, I made a choice to fail.

I got home every night from my second internship and told myself that after dinner, I would write. I would write because I spent at least 8 hours thinking about science and contemplating complex ideas like chromosomes and florescent DNA stains and fruit flies with legs coming out of their heads (oh, its a thing!) and I need to switch my brain into English mode.

But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t sit myself down and force myself to write anything worth keeping. I tried everyday for the first week and a half until I realized that there was no possible way that I could finish 50,000 words in two and half weeks. My characters were perfect — a good friend forced me to do a writing sprint where I wrote as much as I could in 10 minutes and I wrote everything I possibly could about my characters.

Heck, the main one was actually supposed to be like me. My protagonist never usually represents me and this time, she was! Oh, I had goals. I had dreams of a witty book, full of one-liners and humor that people would try to emulate. A tale that everyone could relate to and yet was shrouded in a mist that clouded people from true understand — after all, how many people have worked with fruit flies and the segregation distorter gene?

I barely breathed one page of life into my book. And as I look upon the dwindling days of June and see July hovering in it’s sticky humidity, I wonder if I truly failed?

Don’t look at me like that. It’s true! Maybe I didn’t fail after all.

Maybe last summer was a summer of growth. Maybe it was a time where I got to do whatever I wanted in order to discover exactly what it was that I wanted. Maybe I was able to settle my roots into a new city and meet new people and see how strong my roots could be. It was a happy summer and one that nourished my creativity and inspired me to write over 50,000 words of a book that I could be at least a little proud of.

And maybe this summer wasn’t meant for any of those things.

Maybe this summer is a summer of testing. Maybe it’s a time where I don’t get to do whatever I want so that someday I can do whatever I want since I fattened my resume. Maybe it’s so I can learn how to be transplanted somewhere I didn’t expect to live. Maybe this is where I find out just how strong my roots are when things don’t go my way and I don’t know anybody. This isn’t a happy summer, but it’s one where I get to see just how much I can take and see how many gardening puns I can dig up.

And you know what? I think I can be proud of that.

Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.

Once again, I find myself lacking the words to say what I’m thinking — only to discover that someone else has had the same thought! So here’s are ThoughtCatalog’s imput on happiness. Plus a little pep talk because life is hard.

I’m in that awkward stage of life where I don’t know which Taylor Swift song to blast. 22 or Never Grow Up? Both lyrics seem to apply. I’m both “happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time” while realizing that this whole world is “so much colder than I thought it would be.”

Adulting is a difficult thing, especially in a new city that you don’t love, with roommates/strangers who you barely know/understand. It’s important to remember the motivation behind the whole ordeal and I’ve been repeating it like a mantra. It’s all for the resume, baby.

And that’s the most difficult part of all. When people ask how it’s been, I’m flooded with dread and despair at the fact that I’m only halfway done. But in the moment, I don’t remember it being that bad. For the most part, I enjoy what I do.

I mean, I wake up not wanting to go to work. While I’m there though, it’s not terrible — I’m just filling in hours until I can go home again. Isn’t that what work is? That’s what I’ve always seen and what I’ve always been taught.

Maybe I should listen to Shake it Off instead…

Duty is what one expects from others.

If I were a princess forced to marry the hideous, hump-backed prince from a neighboring kingdom at war in order to sooth the injuries of battle between nations and provide a child to unite the two countries even though I knew my future husband would despise for the foreigner I was, I would do it.

I am a slave to duty and moral responsibility.

Let me explain. By the way of the previous example, I have now become a princess forced by my parents to marry the hideous, hump-backed prince. These are the very same parents who have clothed me and fed me since I was a child. Because they dedicated years of their life caring for me, I think that it is only fair that I dedicate years of my life repaying them through this truce of a marriage.

The expectation is that I provide the nations with a child to instill unity and peace in the hearts of the citizens. I am a small piece in this chessboard and it makes perfect sense to do whatever I can in order to maintain order for all. Instead of selfishly refusing to marry this prince, I will do so and will do my best to have a child since it would be better for many, rather than for myself.

If my husband would truly despise me since I was from the enemy’s camp, then I would have to understand where he is coming from — aren’t I doing the exact same thing by “dealing with the devil”? Therefore, I empathize with him more than any other and should not blame him for the harsh feelings. In fact, I should work against them so that we can work together to end the war.

And should I hate the man I was forced to marry, be he a terrible kisser, if he reviled me and insulted me every time he looked upon me, I would steel myself and deal with it.

Rules were meant to be bent, not broken. Boundaries were meant to be pushed, not crossed.

I’m a stubborn person, and an independent one at that, but I cannot fight against the burden of duty on my shoulders. Even at work today, I miscalculated the amount of a certain chemical that I would need and my stomach began to churn at the thought that I might request more from my boss when he already asked me what my order should be. Turns out, I still had some extra in the back — but the point remains the same!

Even again, my mom texted me to ask me a question about my bank account and I almost couldn’t give an answer when I realized that funds had been transferred to the wrong account. Nothing bad happened and she was able to give instructions to fix it, but I started to get a headache when I realized that I should’ve been able to prevent this. I didn’t mean to cause her any more problems — Lord knows that she’s had to deal with me for 20 years already!

Disappointment is a crippling emotion. Duty binds me tighter than a chain.

What does that say about me? Now that I know this about myself, will I be able to change? For that matter, will I be willing to go out of my way to work on changing it?

If I say no, will you be disappointed?

A man speaking sense to himself is no madder than a man speaking nonsense not to himself.

The two sides of my brain were having a conversation:

The left side –
I am not a math test or a scientist. I am not a mathematician or a perfectly linear graph.

The right side –
I am not an artist or a writer. I am not the dancer you see on the stage nor the athlete on television.

The left side –
I am the way you know how to color inside the lines or stay on the bicycle after the second try.

The right side –
I am the vibration in your fingertips in clinking wine glasses.

The left side –
I am the reason why you can smile 18 different smiles.

The right side –
I am the reason you smile 18 different smiles while counting the crayons in your box set.

The left side –
The reason you can hold a book in your hands or play baseball is because of me. I am how you can play with puzzle pieces and remember the name of your neighbor.

The right side –
The reason you can yearn for something is because of me. I am the muse of who you want to be — every penny that you ever threw in a fountain is my body.

The left side –
I am the one who lets your win at poker and checkers. I am vocabulary and verbose simply because I can be and I want to be. I am analytical and you depend upon me to decode sequences and complicated texts.

The right side –
I am swimming in the ocean for the first time and getting salt up your nose. I am stepping on abandoned snail shells and preferring the orange lollipop over the green one.

The left side –
I am how you can exchange a look with someone. I am probability and your best bet at learning that person’s name. I am how you get up in the morning and why you go to sleep too late sometimes.

The right side –
I am the reason you fill a blank page with everything that you’ve ever felt. I am why you are able to be excited on Christmas. I am the reason you want to travel to Italy and Australia and Scotland.

The left side –
I am seconds and minutes and hours and days and months and years. I am how you made time.

The right side –
I am how you perceive the world. I am not time.

The left side –
I am how you know that it runs out.

The right side –
I am how you know you’ll never have enough of it.

No one sees the original but only the copies.

I’m not super inspirational today — although I’m sure I could crank out some type of post by tonight when I have a 3 hour drive to think about whatever I want. However, I will tease with these snippets until I can post my own words. It’s amazing how easy things can be when you let someone else do them for you.

This might come in handy due to my summer schedule and absolute total lack of motivation.

Also, TED talks always make me feel simultaneously great and terrible about myself. This one is fantastic — plus, it just happens to be from JK Rowling.

The day we fret about our future is the day we leave childhood behind.

I decided to let myself ferment a few days before writing about the internship at all. I’m going to pour my words out and you can get as drunk on them as you please.

Day 1: I hated it. I considered crying during my lunch break and quitting.
Day 2: I strongly disliked the people but I liked playing with slides.
Day 3: I like it.

Granted, the extreme opinions of the first few days were partially the result of a hormonal imbalance and also caused by the uprooting of my summer home, living with 4 strangers, and being a full-fledged, grocery-buying adult in less than 24 hours.

But today, I have come mostly to my senses. I also made a friend at work today who plays country music softly in the lab and who has a son my age. Furthermore, I know where things are now and I can translate my mentor’s accent into somewhat understandable instructions in English.

That being said, there was a moment or two (or several hours) when I contemplated whether or not I had made the correct choice in my college major if I hated research so much. I was also trying to decide whether or not the money was worth the suffering and playing with stool samples — and you wonder why I thought the internship was crap if I’m literally playing with crap!

Overall, I’m still not totally comfortable with the idea of the internship and the living with four strangers and the grocery-shopping, making dinner-for-one deal. Therefore, I still don’t think I can accurately speak on my feelings.

Are you tipsy, reader? Or just a bit buzzed?