It is safe to say that every single one of us fears something, whether it be something rational or not, but we also have internal fears that we don’t talk about and probably will not admit to in public. My fear is not unique, as a matter of fact, I would say it is common and almost normal. I fear failure.
When I was growing up I didn’t have much, we got by on whatever little we did have and we were grateful for it. My dreams and aspirations were minimal and reachable, because they were realistic to my situation and to where I was at that moment (In Mexico, living with my grandmother and selling cheese door to door). I dreamt of a day when I would have a nice pretty array of dresses to go to school in, a pair of shoes, and a doll or two. I thought I would somehow become a movie star and would have tons of money and be happy…forever. However, life doesn’t quite pan out the way we imagine it, specially the way we imagined it as children.
I did not grow up to be a movie star (obviously) or anyone famous for that matter. I grew up tough, and I grew up modest, but most importantly I grew up determined. I did not ever in a million years thought I would join the military, to be an electrician of all things, but I did. Once I was an electrician I did not think I would be anything else and then I changed my job again to be a personnel specialist (human resource type of job). Later I wanted more and got my AA all while raising a 2-year-old and a newborn baby. These were not aspirations of mine and they were not part of a master plan, but they were definitely accomplishments. I, with the help of my husband have served my country, raised two children (still in progress 😉 ) and continue to go to school for my Bachelor’s degree. My next step is to leave the military and transition successfully into the workforce. I think this is the first time in my life where I am following an actual plan towards a specific goal. It seems insane but it is, I am looking for employment, employment that will make me feel like a valuable member of society while helping me put food on the table. I do not want to fail, but I fear that I might. For the first time ever I am attempting to do something that has been previously conceived as opposed to my typical spur of the moment life decisions. This is the first time I will do something that I want to do.
The military has prepared me to lead, it has prepared me to take a task and complete it efficiently with use of minimal resources, to work well with a team, to solve difficult problems, and to think quickly on my feet. It did not prepare me for failure or how to deal with it, on the contrary, it taught me that failure is unacceptable. Failure is not acceptable. I fear that I might. What if I can’t? Many veterans on a day to day basis leave the military and disappear into a dark abyss which they cannot navigate and fall victims to poverty and struggle, many of them just like me. I want to stay strong, and I am preparing as best I can to ensure that I am not among them. I will send out resumes, I will do interviews, I will finish school, I will talk to and convince as many people as I can to see me, so that they may see that I am the person they need to hire, that they need me on their team, so that I will not fail. I will do this, but the fear is always there. Lurking. I think I need it, so that I never let my guard down. So that I never fail. But if I do(which is inevitable since without failure there is no success) it will not be there lingering in my mind for long, because since I do not understand failure, it does not define me, and so, it will merely be a glitch, and I will soon be up on my feet running again.