Photograph by Jacques Henri Lartigue
I think one of the key things to being happy and okay with yourself is learning to come to terms with failure, and almost embrace it. By now I realise that everybody has to fail at things in order to become successful, it’s just how it goes. There are countless examples of this, like the fact that JK Rowling’s first book was rejected by 12 publishers, or that one of Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything” or even that Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting whilst he was alive! It is the struggle of doing something creative, and quite often you don’t get recognised from the word go or even for a long time. Creative work is subjective and not everybody is going to like what you do.
Now we have the internet we can choose to show people our best bits and our biggest successes, displaying them and sharing them with whoever we want. Unfortunately sharing work has backfired on me in the past, the internet gives people something to hide behind so they can therefore be as mean as they want without the same consequences it would have in the outside world. I think you have to understand that whenever you show your work online you are taking the risk of criticism and unwanted comments, but you just have to hope that the people who look at it are kind enough not to say anything that isn’t constructive.
Being successful is harder these days. Most of the best work in the creative industries lies in London, and not all of us can afford to up and leave to London which is regarded as THE MOST EXPENSIVE place to live in in the world according to The Telegraph. Most of the internships are in London, which means working for free or generally low pay in a really expensive city, so you can either live there or travel there everyday, working out as about the same cost. Your other option is to wait it out in your own city and look for jobs there, save up some money and eventually move to London where you’ll probably be extremely poor for a good few years.
With these options becoming less and less appealling more people are deciding to take it upon themselves and start up their own businesses. This seems like an ideal job, doing what you love and working for yourself! Where do I sign up? The problem is you need money to start up your own business otherwise the road is slow. I’ve just come out of uni with a huge debt and a massive overdraft, who wants to lend me some more money? I have been told there are people that will, but in all honesty I don’t really want to put myself in anymore debt at the moment. I want to earn money to get myself out of the debt I’m already in.
So the internet becomes a very valuable tool for people like me, who want to get their work out there and want to create opportunities for themselves. It is hard at the moment, I won’t lie, I feel like there is so much competition out there I wonder how will I ever get to where I want to be. However, when I hear about these successful people’s failure stories it gives me hope. So in the end it’s not only other peoples successes that inspire me but also their failures, which is why it’s so important to embrace your own failures. Nobody gets to where they want to be without hitting a few or a lot of hurdles on the way. Cliche I know.
Things might be hard now but I know from experience that you do get something back in the end. All I know is that I have never quit anything, even though I have wanted to so badly (*cough* uni *cough*) because I know it will end eventually and life is just too short to pass up things you know will help you in the end. Sometimes I feel like I’ve really pushed myself to do something and I’m really proud of it but then I get nothing back. I’m not going to get a gold star every time I do something that requires effort anymore, I just have to have a good perspective on life and not let my failures make me bitter but instead a better person. There is always going to be somebody worse off than you and everybody has things that make them feel like shit, even bloody Beyonce who is much much better off than me (so much). That’s the kind of perspective I mean.
“Everyone is fighting their own battles, try not to be a ****” say’s the internet.
I mean to say this not just to myself but to anybody else feeling the pinch of life at the moment. I’m not trying to tell you how to live your life, I just thought I would post something that I’m feeling at the moment and maybe it can help other people as well.
This is my favourite song right now. They were the first band we saw at Glastonbury, and now I can’t stop listening to them.