[Last Time Ever (this year) Bugging You to Vote Notice: Voting closes tonight for the 2009 Bloggies Awards. I’ve been nominated in The Best-Kept Secret Weblog category, and my brother the Fat Cyclist has been nominated in the Sports Category. If it seems like the right thing to do, go on over and give us your vote!]
(Image from I Can Has Cheezburger)
Today in front of a group of his friends and peers, a friend of mine voiced that he felt like a failure. The context doesn’t even matter so much as the absurdity of this guy feeling like he could even live in the same town as Failure. This friend (let’s call him “Joe” because it’s a nice generic name, and for no other reason) is that rare guy that reaches out to everyone. Joe goes around helping others because he’s wired that way, and not out of a need for people to congratulate him on his good deeds. He’s built up a community made of people that have hard times fitting into other communities. Joe is the most successful person I have ever known, in that he lives by his own code. As we all know, a man’s got to have a code. However, Joe’s community that he’s grown is having the screws put to it because all the money in the world has apparently disappeared.
This feeling of failure isn’t unique to my friend Joe. We’re feeling it in my own home, as my husband’s eyes get a little more panicky every day that work doesn’t come in. Anson is hustling here and there and we’re making it but it isn’t without a ridiculous amount of stress. (When I say, “hustling”, I do not want to imply that my husband has turned to prostitution. He has not. Yet.) I have a friend who is a clothing designer that just lost his funding, I have a friend who used to support herself with writing that has had to beg the cold arms of Corporate America to take her back, one of my favorite writers in Bed-Stuy has had to start using Food Stamps to feed her family, and I have a friend who works in banking who lost her job. When you get all up in this recession’s grill, it is so very freaky.
I guess this is my question to my people (You are my people now. I’ve claimed ownership): How do we not feel like failures in times when all we can do is fail? Where are the success stories in this time in history and how can I get me (and my friend Joe) some of that?