I like journals, you know the ones with cute spiral bindings and a small attachment where you can keep your pen.
The ones they give out as party favours and those you find at the yearly planner/diary section of the bookshops.
I have lots of them, all empty because I am too scared to write in them, to commit the sacrilege that is the stain of ink on paper. To ruin it with my handwriting which my friends and colleagues have described as gigantic ? but I prefer the words “clear and legible”.
In truth, my fear is not to ruin the perfection of the journals, I fear writing out plans in these beautifully perfect journals and not following through with the plans.
The anxiety that accompanies unmet goals and a ticking clock.
So I prefer to wing things, go with the flow. Put in the work but make no solid plans.
What I have come to learn, however, is that having no solid plans in place means no specific focus insight, and having no focus means I start multiple projects and drop them shortly after.
I enjoy making lists and crossing things out, but I can only do this for short term goals, like a list of things I need to do in a day or a week. But yearlong lists terrify me. What if I don’t achieve everything I planned to achieve?
For someone who prides herself in her intellectual capabilities and resilience, I am terrified of failure, public failure like a bad result pasted on the wall with your full name but I am even more terrified of private failure. Like sending out a pitch and receiving a rejection mail.
You know those silent plans you make, the kind where you don’t tell anyone because you’re silently hoping that when it pulls through, then you can talk about it, post about it. But then plans fail and bring with them a heart-wrenching feeling of disappointment.
So, I am learning and unlearning.
Realizing and accepting that not all plans will be met, some goals will take more time than we had planned and others will simply never be achieved because of a lack of resources or just forces beyond our control.
As I write this blog post, my favourite journal is in front of me and I have written in it, plans and random thoughts.
A professor of mine once said if you’ve never failed then you are on a dangerous path in life.
Let your failures rip you apart. Sit with your emotions, hold them, turn them upside down, sideways, in and out. Pick them apart and unveil the lessons within each fail. Tear out the pages if you need to, cross them out if you want to but don’t forget to start over and over and over again as the need be.
Let us make those plans, put in the required effort, fail, fail, fail, fail again and then succeed, for is it a failure if you are leaving with a handful of lessons?