Aspergers on making failure your ally

Posted: October 31, 2012 in relationships, writing
Tags: , ,

(nothing says failure more than this picture.)

We are taught to fear failure, hate failure. It is instilled into us at a very early age that there is nothing worse than failing. That we need to avoid it at all costs. This, however, is not the case. Failure can be a friend and an ally.

From a very early age I aspired to be a teacher, I dreamt of being a teacher there was nothing more noble or worthwhile of a profession. What can make more of a contribution than to shape the future minds of the world. The people who make the largest contribution in our lives from a young age other than our parents are our teachers. In fact, we often spend more time with our teachers at a young age than we spend with our own parents. A good teacher can stick with us for the rest of our lives. I have multiple teachers who will forever have a warm place in my heart such as Mr. Oberman, my 8th grade english teacher, Dinne Hallis, my kindergarten teacher, Mr. Dempsey, my math teacher. Therefore, I went into the  teaching program at the local university straight out of high school. However, once I got into the actual classroom, I was vastly unfit for teaching. The students would not listen to what I said. They would constantly be talking in the back and as soon as I dealt with one fire, there was another one that would rise up. On top of that there was a little girl who was in the front of the room playing with my overhead. Apparently I had not made the writing on the overhead slide big enough or clear enough. Still I thought, if I simply work harder than I will master classroom management. I was already working harder than any other student-teacher out there and getting less positive results to show for my hardwork. I would have continued down this path and hated every single day, if my evaluator and the program had not sat me down and told me that I was a failure as a teacher and that the profession was simply not right for me.

After getting kicked out of the profession I felt like the biggest failure. I went into a state of depression, where all I could think about was how I had failed and what I could have done differently. I had dreams at night where I was still in the classroom and was a success only to realize that it was a dream. I also had dreams where I had the students walk all over me like a welcome mat and no matter what I tried to do it turned out wrong. If I had simply accepted the signs earlier, maybe, I could have got out before things turned into such a mess.

In addition another time where failure helped me is when I thought I could be a professional actor. I went to a few acting classes and really enjoyed it. I thought if I simply worked hard enough that I could become an actor. I, however, had no conception of body language, I couldn’t do accents for the life of me, and when I did lines with another person I was not actually really listening to them or in the scene but was focusing for the cues when my next line was. It was the most awkward thing ever. Yet I persevered at this for almost a year. I was enthused by the possibility of learning and one day being able to shadow people in different professions and help them get the attention and gratification they deserved. After a year, however,  I was able to accept failure which saved me from a life of endless struggle.

I had the same attitude towards comedy and thought that if I worked hard enough at it I would get to go on all the line-ups. I also failed at this and thus far have only been successful at getting spots on open mics but seeing what I have learnt about failure this is probably for the best. It means that I can enjoy doing it for the sake of doing it and not worry about being the best. Since there will always be someone better. Instead I can focus on comedy as a hobby instead of a potential career like many of the other comedians I perform with.

Don’t get me wrong all of these failures including the current one are disheartening but if you look at them through the right light and think positively you can see that they are all for the best. That failure is not something that I should fear or hate but it is actually simply trying to help me find the path for me and is like a signal that lights up when I go off the right path only to help guide me down the road that I am supposed to go down. In addition, maybe none of these experiences have been in vain but they have helped shape me and tell me where I am supposed to be.

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