How I've Failed At Literally Everything I've Tried
Stepping Off the Wheel
I used to have a hamster when I was younger; I saved up all my money over a few months and spent it all on a cage, sawdust, an igloo shaped house, a water bottle, hamster food and what I would later find out to be a very obnoxious and aggressive hamster. This seems an odd place to start for an article that has absolutely nothing to do with hamsters, but it feels fitting as while I write this I feel as though I’m caught in an endless cycle. Running from absolutely everything and getting absolutely nowhere. Chocolate, my somewhat disappointing hamster came to mind as I recall endless nights lying awake disturbed by the sound of him running endlessly on the wheel in his cage. That’s exactly how I feel. I remember the day I bought him, I felt drawn to him because he was pressing up against the glass looking for a way out. Perhaps I saw myself in him, me – very much not a hamster trapped in a life I didn’t know how to navigate and constantly – fruitlessly searching for an exit. Not an exit to life itself I’d like to point out, rather an exit to the cycle I’d wound up in.
I’m 27 and I’ve just moved back to my mother’s house, for the fourth – Maybe fifth time? Like I said, an endless cycle. This time I was living in London in a shared flat, with an ok balcony and my own space for once. Don’t get me wrong, living with 4 strangers has its disadvantages but I was happier there, even if the kitchen was always a mess. It would be a lie to say I was happy because I wasn’t, and I haven’t been for a while, but I was happier. I think maybe it was because I had the sense of freedom and the sense of accomplishment… I might not have had the best job or the biggest bank account, or the healthiest lifestyle but I was living in London ‘on my own’ and had the pretence that I was successful and perhaps even going somewhere. I didn’t feel like quite so much of a failure. I wasn’t the 27-year-old that did nothing with her degree and ended up back at her mum’s.
Now I’m back it feels like my failures are glaringly obvious. It’s as though I never left - or tried at all. I look at my friends and they all seem to have their shit together, some have a house, a family, a savings account. I don’t even have a driving license. I won’t actually have a job at the end of next month either. I don’t seem to be able to ‘figure it out’. It’s like I’ve spent the last God knows how many years wasting time, failing at everything, and having to start over again and again – and again. At this point failure has started to seem like the only, inevitable outcome, with me ending back up in my childhood bedroom. So you can see why I feel like I’m a hamster on a wheel right?
It's not that I haven’t had dreams and plans, because I have – I’ve had lots, perhaps too many. I’ve wanted to do so many things and yet, I’ve not really done any of them. Travel for one thing has always been at the top of my list, something I’d idealised and set aside for ‘soon’ but ‘soon’ never came, there was always something stopping me – usually one of the things I’d failed at and a subsequent complete lack of money. There was never a right now but there was always a future, although somehow almost a decade has passed and I’m still saying the same thing - and it feels like there's less of a future. It’s the same for the other plans I’d once held in high regard, I haven’t done any of them either. It’s like that saying – something about the donkey that starved because it couldn’t decide which way to go to get the food…I’m the donkey, I haven’t starved but I haven’t done anything (and I’ve just willingly compared myself to a donkey, bring on the ass jokes).
So here I am with absolutely nothing to show for the 27 years I’ve been on this planet – unless you count all the things I’ve failed at. I don’t know exactly how or why I’ve managed to fail at everything, but I do think it has a lot to do with me as a person and the choices I’ve made. What I do know is that Chocolate was running on his wheel until the day he died and I refuse to be on mine any longer.
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Very well written. Keep up the good work!
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Original narrative & well developed characters