Dealing with Failure

Nothing in my life has ever been a coincidence — including the choice of movie I watched last week.

Having grown tired of watching actors kill each other, I elected to try something different and watched an indie comedy I’d never heard of with actors I had never seen before: Being Awesome.

As described on IMDb, “After meeting each other at their high school reunion, Teddy and Lloyd realize that they have to make a change in their pathetic lives and make a vow to be awesome. ”

The film is a “slice of life” with which most of us can probably relate.

The very best part, the bit that snatched me from my wallowing, was the speech the popular guy gave at a high school graduation. (No spoiler here!)

It gave me the motivation I needed to deal with my feelings of failure.

Sometimes I wake up, and the first thought is about something I’ve done wrong.  No matter how much self-talk I do, I can’t seem to change it.  But this past week, waking up with the feeling that I was a total failure, was the last straw.

I made coffee, headed to the computer and started typing:

I woke up at five a.m. wondering why I feel like such a failure.  I’m guessing it was the result of several factors beginning with the space I live in…

But it wasn’t enough to just list the reasons why I “should” feel like a failure.  I decided to analyze them, one at a time, and stand up for my choices in the process.  Because I love my house and the town I live in, I chose that one first.

The space I live in

I live in a 600 square foot attic apartment of an old adobe house turned into a triplex before I bought it in December 1981.  After my divorce, I had moved into an apartment complex filled with college students — a constant party.  And then into a trailer park, but that didn’t work for me, either.  I needed my own space and called the realtor who sold me my first house.

The first time I saw the realtor’s pick for me, all I could see was different colors of peeling paint — green, brown, and white — and the dilapidated adobe.  Walking sideways between the door jamb and the wall, I could enter one of the apartments downstairs!

My first reaction was feeling sorry for myself because I had owned a sweet two bedroom house near a tennis court before that marriage, and this thing on the wrong end of town had broken windows upstairs, where I would be living.

But my friends, Mike and Cindy, had said they would move with me.  The owner was selling the trailer they rented.  I was leaving the man who “rescued me” from the noisy apartment and my deep depression over the failed relationship with my husband.

He was okay for a while — until the bizarre happened.  Some friends from Austin had phoned, inviting me to join them downtown. I was about to leave when my roommate forced his pistol into my hands pointing it at his heart, and said, “If you’re going out, then just shoot me.”

I’d had enough.  So with the last of my savings, I put the minimum deposit down and bought that triplex as a sanctuary for my friends and me. No one could evict them, I could escape the loony guy, and we could decide who lived in the third apartment when it was habitable. They even helped me to restore the house!

This old adobe building served me well while I was a teaching at the college, a mere 30-minute walk up the hill.  It has been a Godsend for me despite being refinanced three times – twice for the house I bought seven years later for my mom, the house that stripped my savings again.  So no, I don’t own it. Now I owe only twice the price it sold for over thirty-five years ago. When I first bought the house, I paid the mortgage and for all repairs.  The tiny rents from the two apartments paid insurance and utilities and updates between tenants, like paint or carpet.  But now, so many years later, I no longer pay the mortgage, or the repairs by myself, because rents are much higher now.

So, to those who visit me with expressions of disbelief that I live here while they have large homes in several states, all I can say it,  “Good for you.”  I get it that they think I’ve failed based on where I choose to live.  But have I?

The dirt under my old adobe house is worth more than some nice homes in Texas or Oklahoma.  The climate, one of the best in the United States, is a primary reason, I’m guessing, why so many of them have second homes here.

I can walk almost everywhere I want to go.  We have three excellent health food stores, several gyms, and a recreation center.  There’s always something going on in this community; it is one of the best places to raise a family.  Besides the sports events and skiing, there are parades and silly events like Snow Down, a week of craziness in February to beat the winter blues.  And yes, we have an Indie Film Festival, too!

I am not a failure because I am different, because I choose to live in an attic apartment in this small town.  On the contrary, I believe I’ve made the most of the hand dealt to me, and now my situation supports my dream to be a writer.  Just because others choose to “do it differently” doesn’t make me wrong.

Learning how to stand up for myself, especially in my thoughts, is paving the way for creating a new life!


If you have negative thoughts about yourself, consider listing them and then challenging them one at a time.

Astrologically Speaking

Chiron in Aries spurs us on…reminding us that if we can change nothing else we can change our attitude, how we think and where we invest our energy. Saturn in Capricorn affirms this is the most potent change of all, for in changing ourselves we can change our entire life without apparently changing a thing. A new dawn may well rise on the same old place, but the dawn is no less new…

from “A New Dawn” by Sarah Varcas

Till next time,

“Please be kind to everyone you meet, for we all have our hidden sorrows.” ~Tzaddi




6 responses to “Dealing with Failure

  1. John Stockwell

    !! !! !!




  2. Thanks, John Stockwell!


  3. 1authorcygnetbrown

    I can relate to the negative feelings sometimes, but they last no more than a day or so of bad feelings. They aren’t a regular thing with me. It’s as though a cloud falls over me for a day and I feel like a loser. Most days I am usually rather upbeat, but on those days. . . nothing seems to go well. Fortunately, the next morning I’m fine and back to my old self.


  4. Hi Cynet. Yes: cloudy days. The secret for me has been to realize that I have control over them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 1authorcygnetbrown

    I just take the Scarlet O’Hara approach and say, “tomorrow is another day!”


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