Winter break. My favorite time of all. Yet this year, it’s different. With all I’ve lost lately, I can’t bring myself to once again enjoy the little shivers that are brought on by standing out in the dry arid cold. The taiga, if I may be so bold to call it that. As I go to the pantry once again to pull out another poisoned bottle of lament, I sadly remember I am to expect guests today. Thus, I shouldn’t be inebriated before their arrival around about 2.
As I look to the clock, I realize it’s already half past noon, and my abode is in ruins. The grey curtains appear more faded than yesterday. The floor is in dire need of being mopped. The plants in the windowsill, although in pristine condition, look as though sorrow and solidarity are a touch away from wilting and rotting them to the bulb.
I find myself unable to bring myself to do much. As I go to the kitchen, it seems as though the grim reaper has led me to this room. The now eerily pale whit walls attempt to remind me of something, but the memory is too dark for me right now. I simply don’t have the energy to deal with such a thing at the time. I had a meal to prepare, and not much time to do so. I turn, and the shadowy figure who has led me here has since vanished with no trace of them ever existing there. I shake away the thought, and continue with today’s unfortunate plans. Once my family has arrived, I plan to have them fed and on their ways as quickly as possible, if not sooner. Everything seems to have a strange silver aura to it, and I can’t seem to shake the feeling I’ve done something horribly wrong. I suddenly feel I have fallen through the very foundations of my home, to the depths of hell itself. I look to my right and realize it.
I have spilled the cider I’d spent so long preparing.
After all is taken care of, and most the guests have left, there is still my grandmother sitting at the hearth. She knows I’ve all but given up, but honestly I’ve just given up on giving up. As we talk over a lukewarm shot of gin, she starts a story by saying these three words to me:
We all fail.
One could sum the entirety of what I’m about to say in these short words. And if one only aims to succeed, never to fail, then they have locked themselves in a never ending hell loop worthy of Tartarus itself. As long as you have survived, you have succeeded, you’ve won the battle. Take this for example, if one is to live only for the sake of others, they have failed themselves. If one only lives to serve themselves, they have failed humanity. There really is no winning in this life.
We all fail.
It hardly matters which path you choose. Red or blue, yourself or the world. Even if you find that little gray area, you’ll still be unable to fully succeed. Whether you bring life into the world, or are forced into taking life out of the world, there will always be someone, if not you, ready to tell you how wrong your life is and how every bad decision has led you to this point. Even if you do nothing and just barely make it by, you or someone will eventually be discontent with the life you live, and the cycle is born anew. If one were to count all the failures in the world, he would be but one short as he realizes all the time wasted on these efforts. As well would be the one who counts all the successes, he will be always over by one as he counts what he has spent decades on as a victory.
We all fail.
The only time we don’t fail, however, is when we wake from our dreary slumber in a bed of silken grey sheets, no light to see where we are and where we’ve been. We eventually make a choice to see the light as an absence of the dark, in the crevices where the dark can’t reach up high enough to envelope it. Then, everything is more bright than any light we’ve ever seen. It pulls at our hearts, forcing us up into the yellow atmosphere above. We realize the cave we’ve been dwelling in has been helped to be dug little by little by those who we let in, but most of the work was done by our own hand. No, we will never get that time back. History has seemingly stolen it from us, but now we can see we gave it willingly! We are at fault, and that’s okay! Tomorrow a new day is here! We’ve taken our remaining time back from the future! And as we finally start to see this, in this moment,
We all succeed.
I smile and a tear falls in my drink, however it’s no more bitter than it had been before. I look up to thank her, tell her how necessary it was for me to hear this. However, she is gone. The fire is out, and barely smoldering coals are left. I look about, confused as to what has occurred. Then, as the cold begins grabbing and shaking my very bones, I realize the solemn truth. It was my grandmother who had passed in the spring, the one I couldn’t go to see before she was lifted from this reality. It was her I had felt I failed the most. In my intoxication, she had grabbed me and told me how I’d only just failed her after all had come to pass. To tell me to redeem myself, for myself! Not to live by the standards others put in front of me!
I throw open the drapes, turn on the lights that have been dimmed for so long I put my failures behind me.
I’m ready to succeed.
Written by Later Boii