What I do when I feel like a failure

I was feeling like shit about my life and then I saw this typewriter and felt even worse.

If you’re afraid to fail, then you’re probably going to fail – Kobe Bryant

I’m going to be upfront here: I’ve been feeling like shit lately. I’ve been working hard, consistently, but it never feels like I’m doing enough. I have big dreams but they’re really taking a long time to transpire. So in turn, I feel like a failure.

When things move along at snail speed it’s easy for this big dreamer to get discouraged, take several days off to indulge in her vices and wind up curled up in bed next to her dog in the fetal position at 7:30PM for three consecutive nights.

Recently on the way to yoga, I came across a rusty, dismembered, discarded typewriter on the side of the road. It felt like the perfect metaphor for how I’ve been feeling. This beautiful piece of equipment once had so much purpose. Now it’s useless and worthless, destined for the trash.

Yeah, I’ve been feeling like shit. So I decided to call a few key people in my life to help me climb out this K hole of depression. 

First I rung up my new friend Hilary Henegar, who’s an editor at Granville Magazine. She was a fan of my writing before we met in real life. Last week, she asked me out on a friend blind date and I said yes. We met up, clicked immediately and had a really fun time. We’ve talked on the phone every day since.

I called her in an attempt to boost my ego. Here’s a snippet.

Me: Tell me nice things about my writing.

Hilary Henegar: I really enjoy hearing people be really honest about where they’re at in their lives. So it works for me when you talk about why you gravitate towards things. And you seem like a real person. You seem like you’re not rah rah rah about anything but you’re not too cynical to shit on anything. I like the enthusiasm and realism.

Me: Wow. I love this.

Talking to Hilary helped but I wasn’t entirely cured of my bummed-outness. So, I decided I’d hit up my friend Matthew Finlason next. He’s busy blowing up in LA so he doesn’t appear to have much time to pick up the phone when I call. When I saw he was online, I asked him if he had any wise words about success. Here’s what he wrote:

“Ask yourself with every decision you make: is this one rung UP or one rung DOWN the ladder. Step up.”

Then he told me he’s really busy and signed out.

Finally I called my dear friend Bob Larson in New York. He’s an important TV producer and probably the most successful person I know. (He's responsible for all these shows.)  He is also one of my most favourite people of all time because he is just so fucking positive. You hang out with him and immediately feel enlightened. It's a treat. Here’s a bit of our chat, at least the part that’s relevant:

 Me: So I feel like a failure. Please make it go away.

Bob Larson: Well, there’s the old Bob Larson Skippadee-dee-dee theory: It’s all about the journey. There’s some part of every day when you feel like you’re not getting there – there’s something there. There’s something in those crappy moments. It’s the good song that’s playing in the grocery store. Don’t ignore those moments. It’ll keep you on the right path.

 Me: Thanks Bob. I actually really need to buy groceries.

 I wish there was a way to summarize this whole experience up nicely. End it on the positive note. But honestly I can’t. I’m in a weird place and the only thing that makes me feel better, aside from the lovely and kind words from my friends, is the fact that I know this feeling won’t last forever.


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