How I Learned to Fail

Posted on September 10, 2012


On this India trip, mostly people told me, “You have not changed at all! Marriage hasn’t changed you one bit.” It makes me very happy. Because it tells me that I still have the same exuberance and madness about me – the stuff that makes me – ME.

But on speaking to me a little more closely, most people also said, “Well, you have changed a little, and for the better.” The reason they say this is because I am a lot more positive now than I have ever been before. I have lost that cynicism that had taken hold of me over the years, having faced one disappointment and setback after the other.

I recently interviewed for a job with the Alzheimer’s Association. Now for those of you who know me, will remember that it is my dream workplace and that I currently volunteer there full-time. Of course, this was a different chapter, and not in Chicago, but the interview went really well and I was very hopeful. Unfortunately, I did not get the job because of I do not have a green card and nor am I a US citizen. Of course I was disappointed. I even felt sorry for myself for a few minutes. And then slowly I told myself, “It was not meant to be.” I automatically felt better. Somehow, my inner voice told me that something better is on the cards.

That’s when I realized this was a big change for me. A few years ago, I would have raved and ranted and cursed the universe from here to kingdom come and back. I would have also become more negative than I already was and made life difficult for my husband (then boyfriend) and cribbed to all my friends endlessly.

Even now, I am hopeful that I will get a job. But there is an accompanying thought along with it…even if the Alzheimer’s Association cannot give me a job, I am happy going there 4-5 days a week as a volunteer and providing guidance and therapy for caregivers and patients. This is huge for me. I am so grateful for this internal change that has happened. A process that is not at all easy. A process that I cannot take much credit for.

The two main reasons for this change can be attributed to A. The influence of a positive person B. Prayer. I have arranged the A and B intentionally in this sequence because without the A, there would have been no B.

I have stressed on the power of prayers so much over the years, that this time I am going to give the A. some credit. This A, is my husband. I remember some instances where he didn’t get admission to the business school of his choice or the job of his choice and how beautifully he responded to each disappointment. His simple thing is, “God has a plan. It will all work out.” And somehow it does. I remember one time, he had been hoping to land an internship with X company. But instead he got an internship with a company that was his last choice, one he had put as a choice simply because he needed to. Within a couple of days, he knew everything there was to know about this company where he was to intern (he had never heard about it in detail before) and had a big, fat coffee table book about it. He was even bragging sweetly all about his new role to this friends.

I have always marvelled at this ability of his and I asked him once how he does it. He simply said, “It’s not about getting what you want, but wanting what you got!” I used to feel that this is possible when you don’t have horrible horrible things – like a parent dying – happen to you. But over the years, I have realized that I have a choice. I can hang on to what happened to mom and how others ill-treated my family and me, or I can move on and develop positive thought processes.

Thought I knew this in theory, I tried several times and failed severely many times. But I guess being surrounded by such a positive influence all the time, coupled with our joint prayers, has managed to work its magic. I feel being around a person who is very grateful and optimistic has given me an inner strength. I feel. from within, that even if something were to happen to him, or if we broke-up, I would be fine – I would be able to pick myself up and lead a good life. This is different from being prepared for the worst. This is more about being strong and optimistic from within. I never had this. I always felt that my life was a downward spiral and things would just worse. But somehow, it has changed. And I am grateful beyond measure.

I never give unsolicited advice, but I just want to say one thing – Be open and let the positive influences take over you. You will get the strength to let the past hurt you less and give you the courage to love yourself and life a little more.

Thank you Sid. For everything you have brought to my life.