I’m in the Twilight Zone.
I think I exist.
But in reality, it seems I’ve passed through some cosmic membrane into the Twilight Zone, where I’m stuck spinning wheels. Many of you reading this can identify with me. When you’re in the Twilight Zone, the efforts you put forth fail to yield the result you want. In other words, you feel invisible.
You keep trying and trying to achieve something, but no matter how hard you try, nothing happens. You apply for 15 jobs, and not one person calls you back. You do 50 situps a day, yet your stomach doesn’t seem to get any flatter. You try to memorize 10 new words a day in a new language, but you forget them all by the next day. You want someone special in your life, and you try Internet dating, yet you’re still sleeping alone at the end of the day. No matter what you do, it’s like banging your head against a wall that just won’t break.
We set out every day, trying to achieve something. And we Americans have been told since childhood that “If you work hard enough, you’ll make it! Just believe in yourself, and everything will work out!” And by the time we reach adulthood, we come to think of that old mantra as half-bullsh!t. In reality, sometimes the effort you give doesn’t change the situation. Just because you work really hard, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to make it.
But to be honest, what’s the alternative? If you never try anything new, you’ll never have to worry about falling into that scary place. You’ll never have to worry about feeling lost and failing, feeling like a loser.
As long as we desire change in our lives, we’ll never be safe from the Twilight Zone. Any time we try something new, be it a new career, trying a sport, getting into a healthier lifestyle, learning a new skill, we risk failure. Failure can be a cold, hopeless, dark place indeed. But to look at it a different way, failure can be the ultimate learning experience. It’s said that if you’ve never failed at anything, you’ve never tried something new. Me, I’d rather fail while trying and look foolish for a little while, than never try and feel foolishly regretful. But that’s easy for me to say, because I have a lot less to lose than other people in my position.
I’m pretty lost right now. Nervous, too. Floating around in the cosmic soup, trying to grasp at things that are still hopelessly out of reach. Those few things I desperately want to happen. But no matter how much I try, nothing has worked so far. I’m taking baby steps in a direction that I don’t even know is the right way. In the back of my mind, I hope there’s a trap door hidden somewhere. I have no road map to find it. It could take trial and error and perseverance. I might also be approaching this whole thing wrong, and I either need to start from scratch, or look at it from an angle I didn’t see before. Or I could fail outright, and those hopes will die, exploding right in my face as they go.
But I’ve failed before, and some of those failures have led me to something even better, that I could never have anticipated. Call it youthful hubris, call it whatever you want. While I have this freedom, I have to use it to the fullest. Even if I get stuck spinning wheels, well, at least I’m still trying.