Failure is a required part of the human existence.

Prompt: Carve

 
The curve of the clock
traced the motion of the second hand
as it curtly constructed
my schedule,
cutting my time
into precisely
calculated
segments.

The sheen of the blade
sneered as I sliced into succulent flesh,
steak steaming as my husband
sits silently
for his supper,
the rest of the side
served cold
and tasteless.

The lack of clacking on
the keys betray my writer’s block
as emails stack up,
stalking publishers
expecting drafts
that we both know
I cannot
accomplish.

And yet
I’m not sure
which of these failures
carves
into me
most.

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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.

Age wrinkles the body; quitting wrinkles the soul.

Don’t Quit
Author unknown

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit —
Rest if you must, but don’t quit.

Life is strange with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
when he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow —
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
it seems to a fair and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
when he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out —
the silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
and you never can tell how close you are,
it may be near when it seems afar,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit —
it’s when things seem worse that you mustn’t quit.