Embracing My Failure To Launch: How I'm channeling my pain to push me forward

August 10, 2023

Photo by Peter Thomas 


I’m going to keep this post simple and bittersweet. Mainly because I’m writing for me today, and not to contribute anything monumental to the world (although I hope someone can find this post relatable). But I like to keep it real, and the truth is, I’ve been struggling. In what feels like every aspect of life. 

I’ve been lying to myself and saying that I can handle life on my own when in reality, I want and need an intimate support system. I need deep connection, even though I sometimes find intimac tobe draining. Why, because life feels overwhelming right now. The state of humanity is overwhelming. And the idea of enduring one more emotion truly makes me thing I'll implode. 

The daily stories I see/read on the news have brought on a decently strong episode of depression. I usually cry and spiral after seeing/reading about another traumatic event. The news makes me question every aspect of my life (and humanity as a whole), and I'm truly starting to fear that there is more hate in the world than love.

But I don't want to live my life that way! I want to see the good in people, but I feel quite jaded. 

I want to stay an informed citizen & help the causes I believe in, but I'm having a hard time dealing with all the hate, pain, and trauma in the world. There’s so much going on globally and locally. And I feel like a terrible person for not dedicating my life to helping our planet and society heal. 

I feel guilty for wanting to pursue my dreams when the world is burning all around us. But at the same time, my life is ultimately finite, and I want to make it as beautiful, fun, and fulfilling as possible while I have the opportunity to do so. 

The act of balancing the grief I feel for the world while also pursuing my own version of happiness seems to get tougher and tougher each day.

But the news isn't the only thing contributing to my existential crisis. The fear that I’ll never get married, will have to wait a decade to have kids, and will have to raise them as a single parent because I'll need to select their father from a catalog at a sperm bank truly makes me lose my very fragile, burned-out mind. 

And lastly, there is one ugly truth that has been haunting me all year. I hate admitting this, but I'm allowing my fear of change and failure to hold me back from creating an extraordinary career, love life,  and lifestyle for myself.

 Looking in the mirror is hard, and I hate it! The irony in all of this is, I had to face these hard truths while traveling to beautiful destinations to be a bridesmaid in two weddings. There's nothing like being an overweight (my doctor's words, not mine, so don't come for me), single bridesmaid in your late 20s, in two weddings... within 7 days of eachother, that will give you a brutal reality check. 

If there’s anything that can make a woman feel like a failure in life, it's being surrounded by other people in love who are achieving every milestone, all while your life continues to be one big shit show.  Sometimes I think I'll fall into an abyss or collapse from the pain and loneliness that comes from realizing I'm lightyears away from creating the family I desperately desire.

That’s the beauty of being a woman: we possess the emotional capacity to be blindly happy for the people we love and celebrate them fully, while also battling depression and being terrified of staying stuck in this current phase of life. You can be so grateful to be exploring a beautiful new city, and also carrying around crippling depression. The emotional capacity we possess is truly unmatched.

The delusional story I’ve been telling myself (aka I can do bad all by myself) came crashing down on my 8 hr plane ride back to NYC. I watched “Ingrid goes west” and ended up quietly sobbing because I related to the main character’s intense feeling of loneliness and her heart-breaking confession that she feels hopeless and broken.

Although I was quite embarrassed to have cried in public, I was so proud of myself for immediately thinking, “Nia, if you’re not happy with the life you’ve created, create the life you want. Put in the effort to build the career of dreams instead of watching 5 hrs of netflix each night! Put in the effort to date so you can attract the right guy. Find a way to drastically increase your income so you can look into a.) living alone in the NYC area and b.) buying an apartment like most of your friends are doing. Freeze your eggs so you can stop freaking out about your biological clock! No one ever achieved their dreams by feeling sorry for themselves.” Yay me for positive, constructive thinking!

 Instead of wasting time having a pity party this week, I’ve been telling myself these three narratives.

a.) Every painful situation in life is temporary. But the grass will never be greener unless I train my mind to seek the beauty out even in the heaviest of times.

b.) I know that my stagnation in life is solely based on my actions, well if we’re being honest, inactions. I haven’t had the energy to do anything above the bare minimum, and that is something I'm trying to forgive myself for. But since I made my mess, that means I’m in control and very capable of cleaning it up!

And c.) suffering is optional. Obstacles, pain, grief, and problems are guaranteed in life… but suffering? Well outside of extreme cases, suffering is usually caused by us mentally beating ourselves up. And that’s a habit that we can all break by accepting help and through deep reflection.

So in closing, my little quarter-life crisis in the sky was the exact pain push I needed to get off my arse and leisurely hustle for the lifestyle and love life I want and deserve. Let’s see how extraordinary I can make my little corner of the world in 5 months. Tatah for now hauxs. And thanks for spending a little piece of your day with me. Your support means everything to me. 

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