In light of recent events, I have come to realise how much I hate clichés. In fact, there seems to be an unspoken bond between clichés and failure. Just wait until you fail and a thousand clichés will come tipping down on you. Some will be comforting, others will make you raise an eyebrow, others yet will make you cringe and yet, somehow, they will (almost) all be true.
So yes, I failed to land this job. And equally so, I did the best I could. So here is what I draw from this whole experience: I’ll get them next time!
And until then, here is my personalised list of clichés about failure and success (to be taken with a pinch of humour because it’s better to laugh than cry about it…)
1. Life goes on.
Indeed. Whatever happens, life goes on. In fact, life never stops to “go on” (until it really does and there is nothing else we can do). But when all you can feel is disappointment and frustration, is the thought of life “going on” really helpful? The debate is open for discussion.
2. They/he/she didn’t deserve you.
A classic! One that will most likely bring a smile to your tearful face, or a snort if you are a lovely, sarcastic person like me. Hang on a minute. Is it really about merit here? In some cases it might – dysfunctional relationships for example – but a job where I had more enthusiasm than experience to offer? I wonder…
3. When one door closes, another opens.
I must admit, I hate this one with passion. And yet, it couldn’t be more true. Mathematically speaking (and I hate Maths too), if one opportunity is missed, an array of alternative possibilities suddenly becomes available. They may not be visible to the naked eye yet but they are there. And oh how much I’m going to love it when one of them comes round.
4. Don’t let this beat you down.
Of course I’m going to let it! At least for a day or two. With me, it took two days to get over it. Two days of lamenting and crying and staring into the void and weighing up my losses and falling back on my crappy alternatives and so on. Two days during which I was very much beaten down. Defeated. Nobody (amongst us humans) can wave their hand at failure the way they wave a fly off their cheek and resume the activity. We need time.
5. It was meant to be / everything happens for a reason.
Was it really though? If you think about it, nothing and everything could be “meant to be”. Why spend the time and effort if… whatever will be will be? No. This comeback is nothing but a deluding, comforting string of words meant to absolve us from any responsibility. Instead, let’s blame it all on destiny.
6. Failure is another word for experience.
I guess it may be. One day. In a vague future where, with this magical thing called hindsight, you realise that failing taught you this or that. But right now? It is nothing but pure discontent. There is of course this voice of reason whispering sensible thoughts at the back of your mind. But let’s face it, right now, you just want to silence it. Hell, you may not even hear it just yet.
7. Patience is a virtue.
Yes, I am a hypocrite. I have been known to use this cliché with others and myself but it is only when someone else drops the bomb that it really hurts. Yes, patience is a virtue and I agree 100%. But between you and me, I no longer want to wait. I no longer want the “one day” hypothesis. I want the “tomorrow” certainty.