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A word I am all too familiar with and a feeling I have let linger for too long. You see, I am the girl that is never quite enough. I can never master a skill or retain enough information to sound somewhat intelligent. I give up too easily when things get hard and am generally average at most things. Even as I write this, I feel like what I have to say is not enough and I have already spent countless hours worrying that this concept of storytelling will fail too.

Here is the truth of it. I failed high school while most of my friends passed with flying colours. I didn’t complete my university degree and dropped out with only one year to go (I even went back to try again and gave up a second time). I could never figure out what sort of career I wanted and as a result there was nothing I excelled in. Before I had my son, I had two miscarriages and after he was born, I went on to have another two. The feelings of loss and grief were unbearable, and I felt like I had failed as a mother. I failed my marriage which ultimately led to feeling like I had failed so many people, including my son. And as he grows up, I continue to feel like I fail him daily. 

I bet after reading that it is no surprise to you that I go into most things assuming I am going to fail. I have essentially created a predetermined path for myself. And if I step back and look at the concept from a distance, I can see that it is a very sad and unfulfilling way to live. 

Failure preys on me when I am most vulnerable. The excitement of an idea or new opportunity will quickly turn to thoughts of failure. When I fail, I feel rejected. And when I feel rejected, I feel alone. That loneliness has caused a lot of damage in my life and has caused me to become incredibly inward when it comes to dealing with life’s problems.

The only way I can break away from this way of thinking is by changing the conversations in my head. I have literally had to re-train my brain to begin seeking out the positive things around me. My past failures barge back into my head often and it quickly becomes all-consuming. In the end, I had to make a decision and that decision was to not allow those failures to be my only story. Stories are complicated and often there are multiple storylines within one story. And as I begin to unravel the other storylines in my life, I begin to see all the things I have succeeded in too.

My message to you:

You are not alone. I know things are tough right now; I know it’s hard. That one storyline that is currently taking place for you is not the only narrative in your life story. There are many other storylines that give your life meaning and there are many more to come. I promise x

Emma's Story

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