Failure

Yesterday I felt like a failure. Does that happen to everyone sometimes, or is it just me?

I hope it’s not just me, because that would make me feel like even more of a failure.

These are some of the things that happened yesterday that probably contributed to my feelings of failure:
1. I posted a few pictures from high school on Facebook and on this blog, which brought back some happy memories but mostly reminded me of how lonely and left out I felt in high school.
2. I chatted with a friend from high school to whom I haven’t talked in several years. He’s happily married and is still friends with lots of cool people from high school. In fact, it seems that most people from high school are still friends with people from high school and are married to people from high school or are about to marry people from high school, and they all still hang out together, which is weird, right, but I still feel left out.
3. I scheduled a date and time to sign my divorce papers.
4. An acquaintance posted on her blog about how she knows someone who’s getting a divorce and it’s sad but her marriage is so awesome.
5. I spent the night looking through more pictures from high school and feeling like more of a failure.

I guess Teenager Spring paid me a visit again. She likes to come ’round sometimes and remind me that I am a failure at relationships and really life in general and no one likes me.

(Teenager Spring is super emo and mostly paranoid.)

This is all my therapist’s fault. (I’m a failure because I begin paragraphs with “This is all my therapist’s fault.”) She diagnosed me a few years ago as having the emotional intelligence of a teenager.

She was totally right, by the way.

But I guess in truth, there are two Teenager Springs. Or were.

I never had any fun in high school and college and always tried to do the right thing (which usually meant studying and going to church instead of having any fun), and then right after college I decided to try and grow up really fast by getting married. This is Actual Teenager Spring. She felt left out and misunderstood all the time and was kind of a judgmental drag.

Then after I got married I was like, nope, don’t wanna, and I spent some time in heavy-duty rebellion, which was kind of fun but mostly pretty destructive and angsty. This is Late-Blooming Teenager Spring. She wreaked havoc on my life (mostly because my life needed to be wreaked havoc on), and she’s also pretty fun to hang out with, if you can stomach all her angst and stand free of her path of destruction.

Now that I’m on the other side of the rebellion and destruction and angst, my main focus is having fun of the less destructive sort and also learning from my mistakes and taking baby steps towards emotional health and maturity.

But it’s all very confusing for me. I keep saying to people, “We’re too young to get married! PAR-TAY.” And everyone’s like, “Um, we’re old.” And, Jesus God, they’re right. When did we get so old? I was just a teenager a few years ago!

I take this to mean that I’ve progressed by now to the emotional intelligence of an early twentysomething. Though most people my age have already done that because they age emotionally as they age physically and mentally like normal people do, which is something else at which I apparently fail.

I’ve come to realize that Actual Teenager Spring felt so left out in high school because she didn’t even know herself, so she couldn’t accept herself, because you have to first accept yourself in order to be accepted by anyone else.

Late-Blooming Teenager Spring was on a kamikaze mission to get to know herself. It worked pretty well, and now I do know and accept myself, but the main casualty was my marriage.

And as it turns out, divorce is really hard on the self-esteem.

Anytime I feel down, it adds another layer on top of everything, so that my thought process goes something like this: I feel so lonely and I don’t have many friends and no one likes me AND I’M GETTING DIVORCED AND IT’S PROBABLY A HUGE MISTAKE AND MY MOM IS RIGHT AND NO ONE WILL EVER WANT TO MARRY ME AGAIN BECAUSE THE BLOOM IS OFF THE ROSE AND I’M GETTING SO OLD AND MY METABOLISM IS SLOWING AND I HAVE ONLY EIGHT MORE YEARS TO PRODUCE OFFSPRING OMG.

It sends my emotions into overdrive so that a simple Teenager Spring pity party turns into an all-out biological-clock-induced emotional breakdown of the creepiest, most stereotypical kind. I suppose you could say it’s where the two Teenager Springs collide.

But by this morning Early Twentysomething Spring had shown up and kicked them both out. She lay in bed with me and stroked my head for a while, reminding me that people do love me, and, more importantly, I love me; I’m absolutely not a failure but in fact am kicking life’s ass; and, c’mon, let’s stop worrying about this and go earn some money and then spend it on booze tonight.

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11 Responses to Failure

  1. Rebecca says:

    I think it’s only normal for everyone your age to be married in places like Texas. Move to California or New York and I bet everyone will PARTAY with you.

  2. girlfromthenorthcountry says:

    I like you.

    Also, not to be patronizing toward your feelings — because they are very valid, and I relate so much — but visit CA for a while. Most people here get married in their 30s or 40s and have babies thereafter. It’s comforting for a girl (me) who sometimes fears she’s not capable of falling in love. I’ve got some time to figure this shit out.

    Sometimes when I meet a guy I’m interested in, it’s comforting to me if he’s made mistakes. Then I don’t feel like I have to put on a veil of perfection when I’m with him. I imagine that many men feel the same way about the ladies, and you’re beautiful and smart and talented.

  3. Katie says:

    It’s true… you’d be so much more normal in New York. In New York, I am the crazy one for being married at 25. Oh, and everyone likes to PAR-TAY. Even the marrieds.

  4. Sherry says:

    I don’t recall ever saying “No one will ever want to marry you again”. Are you kidding me? You’re an amazing person! You’re passionate and fun and your smile can light up a room. You laugh easily and care deeply. No bloom off your rose – just dewy droplets reflecting all you’ve learned on your journey.

  5. Kyle says:

    I think you’re amazing from a creeper’s viewpoint. I have followed you since I left the black hole of fun called Siloam. I have fun. Wish u were here.

  6. tiffany murphy says:

    Hi Spring-
    We are acquaintances on facebook (I went to Jbu and I grew up in Dallas Texas) and I came across this note on status updates. Please don’t think I’m stalker chic, but, am I? cause I read it? Oh well, I don’t really care, I guess lol! What you said in this letter was very vulnerable and open and I thought deserved some honesty right back.

    I’m 29 yrs old happily married with 2 kids. Ok. Lets define happy!!

    Right now we are filing for bankruptcy and like most people here in Oregon are having to foreclose on their homes. My husband has a crappy job (Tmobile representative where he gets yelled at all day)and going to school to start over in a different career. He started with an English degree. I got layed off awhile ago when my daughter was born. (I was a children’s director at a church) We have to move out of our house in the beginning of July and I have no idea where we are going to live or if we have enough money to even rent a town home! I am studying to be a personal trainer so I can have some part time work. But, now that’s even hard to do cause I’m so depressed! I have my good days but mostly the stress of what we are going through makes everything seem so HEAVY! There have been days I can barely get out of bed. There are those moments where I want to run away or literally do whatever the heck I want to do. Even just go meet a guy or something so I can feel like “me” again. My husband is an amazing husband in so many ways, but I tell you what it doesn’t make a difference. If I’m not tracking with God it all means nothing. I feel like a failure in so many ways! And I’m thinking that you think that if you were happily married or knew yourself the way you should be known, or that you had more life experiences that things would be better. If that is at all true its a tough call. If you and I compare situations there isn’t a lot different about the way we feel about ourselves. And yet we are feeling some of the same things.

    God doesn’t care if you are divorced or in my case (we made some bad financial decisions) He just wants US (our REAL selves)and whatever that might look like. If we feel like failures than what REALLY DEFINES our success?

    Ok, so , all this to say u aren’t alone and you are most def. not a failure!
    Tiffany
    ps I’m not saying to dismiss how you feel, but give it to God and see what happens,,,that’s what I’m doing.

  7. BFF says:

    In the words of the Mary Tyler Moore theme song – which I believe all of us strong independent women strive to be like- “You’re gonna make it after all.” 🙂

  8. Vail Carruth says:

    Dear Spring,
    Lovely beautiful independent yet honestly seeking woman you are! Never give up. I just read in the scriptures this morning during my early am time with God….. about how we need to seek/find, ask/receive, knock/the door will be opened to us. The best things in life never come easy. We all make mistakes. I have made HUGE errors (you read my book, right? yeah!) But know that GOD loves you passionately and He is the relentless Hound of Heaven who will perfect you if you yield everything to Him. HE will never let you down, or reject you. His Kindness is everlasting, He died for you, His blood paid for all your sins and omissions, and He alone knows you as no one else can know you. He gives peace the world cannot give. And He will bring great breakthrough into freedom, you will see!

    It is normal to feel like a failure at times, but we need to recognize the spirit of failure and take rightful authority over this spirit that lies to us. I have experienced relief by doing this (but have to repeat it sometimes, lol). Eventually we gain in maturity and get a grasp with His loving hand on our life. Thank you for opening your heart to us who follow your blog and your life. Love, v.

  9. Deb says:

    Isn’t it amazing how the insecurities of our youth still have power over us as adults? You know what mine are, and yet I know what you would say to me about them: “You are beautiful.” Well Spring, you are beautiful. And you’re not a failure.

    Like other readers, I would encourage you to seek God in this situation. He has the power to reconcile all the parts of you into a wiser, more understanding whole.

  10. Word Perv says:

    I married when I was 25, divorced when I was 29, and now, at 31, am in a good, strong, loving, mind-blowing-sex-included relationship with a man who I think could be “the one” only I don’t believe in things quite this cliche so I’ll just say this: I love him and he loves me and sometimes our relationship takes work but dammit it’s good. So screw any nay-sayer that says you’ll never find love or get married again. That is just BS.

    Also, I did the whole finding-myself-through-rebellion in my teenage years and guess what – it still took most of my 20s to really figure myself out and yeah, I think my marriage was part of the carnage of that. It happens, it’s life.

  11. Julia says:

    I think getting married before 25 is a bit of a crapshoot for pretty much anyone. Maybe you still have lots of changing to do, maybe not, maybe your spouse will be cool with it, maybe not. It’s pretty impossible to predict if you will grow apart or closer together. I think that luck is a bigger piece of it than many like to admit!

    Knowing yourself and becoming comfortable with yourself is hard work and you have put a lot of time and energy into getting to that point, which is awesome. Just when I think I have a grip on it I experience the “oh no I am not Brio girl material anymore!” crisis and feel 16 again. I try to just focus on snuggling the pugs and that makes me feel better, they don’t care who I think I am, they just want my snuggles.

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