Monthly Archives

January 2017


Let’s talk about failure.

January 27, 2017
There’s this common accusation that social media is harmful because we all retouch our lives so much on it. We only share the good, and then we compare our dreary day-to-day with other people’s highlight reels, and we feel less than. None of it is real.
From a whole different angle, there’s the perception that we don’t have a proper “culture of failing” in Austria or Europe, that if failure were more accepted like it is in Silicon Valley, people wouldn’t be so risk-averse and our economy would be much more innovative.
So let’s talk about failure.

I completely, utterly, entirely fucked up my first month of 2017.
I started a new job on day 2, after which I took a completely unplanned and unnecessary 4 day vacation (to Germany, of all places, which is just as cold as here), during which I could’ve gotten things done.
I then failed my practical driving exam for the second time, at which point I decided to cut my losses and just quit, which means that over the past year, I threw out €4.000 for absolutely nothing.
Then, I got sick and had to stay home for a few days. I handed in half-hearted, embarrassingly bad assignments. I spent time that I should’ve spent studying crying my eyes out. My panic attacks came right back and messed my schedule up so badly. And I sat through them, because I have learned that trying to force myself to calm down makes everything worse.
At various points this month, I seriously considered moving to a different country, taking out a loan and getting a ton of plastic surgery, giving away my cat, getting a house on the countryside, and joining a religious cult.

I spent hours just reading, and writing, and crying, when I should have been working on my task list. I didn’t do close to my best on any of my exams, or assignments, and sometimes I didn’t even do my best at work. I went to the gym a total of maybe three times in the entire month. I did count calories, but any deficit I racked up was shot right to hell this past week – anyone who has ever struggled with this knows how incredibly hard it is to function, let alone perform, while restricting.
By almost every one of my own measures, I failed.
But I managed to complete eight university courses this month alone, alongside a 35 hour work week. The standards I set myself are a lot higher than that, and I’m going to try a hell of a lot harder next month. But for now, that’s going to have to be enough.

I give up.

January 17, 2017
TW: This is not a happy post.
It recently occurred to me that the very first date of my life would have been roughly around 10 years ago, in February of 2007. I had met a boy online on a website called Netlog (yes, that was a thing back then) and he had agreed to pick me up from school. I walked through the gate that day and saw him sitting by the closest bus stop, with a notebook on his lap, drawing the clock that was standing on the square across the street. It was a very bad drawing, but I was 14 and the artistic type was cool back then.
Ten years is a really long time to keep trying and failing at something. Of course, it’s not unheard of for people to stick with something for ten years. I’m sure there are people who have been trying to get a book published, or a band going, for longer. Kudos to those people for their perseverance. But I don’t think I have that in me. You know those completely asinine everyday moments where everything suddenly catches up with you? I was lying in bed staring at
the ceiling trying to fall asleep and my brain decided that would be a good time for a flashback.
And then I realized I can’t do it anymore. I can’t have another “so where are you from” conversation. I can’t waste another evening sipping coffee and trying to get the person across the table to say something even remotely interesting. I can’t give up any more precious reading time to swipe faces left or right on a screen. I can’t take the stress of having to make a good first impression at all costs and of forcing myself to be cheerful and I can’t waste another drop of frankly very expensive makeup on people I’m never going to see again.
And more than anything, I can’t take meeting someone I actually like and getting my hopes up only for everything to go to hell a few months later.
So I decided I want to let go.
I know I’ve probably said this before, to friends, tearfully, over a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates, but I feel like this is a much more sober, rational decision. I deleted every single dating app from my phone last night – and if you ever see me using one again, it means I downloaded it in a moment of weakness and I’d like you to take my phone and smash me over the head with it. I’m done with Disney films, and romantic comedies, and love stories, and fairy tales, and my secret Pinterest wedding board. I’m done with stopping to look at engagement rings or baby shoes. I’m done with paying attention to school ranking tables. I’m done with reading developmental psychology articles on Google Scholar and I’m done with the entire concept of happily ever after.
I give up.