Give me a better metaphor

Back to the drawing board… Which is probably why this is all going so badly, because I can’t draw. Does anyone fancy giving me a more personally accurate metaphor to my skills please?

I’ve spent a lot of time wondering if I was going to discuss this publicly at all if it didn’t work out. It hasn’t worked out, so I’m going to discuss some of it. If you’re a friend of mine then I apologise. That sounds like I’m being hard on myself but I really am. I’ve been particularly shit company lately and if you hadn’t noticed or if I seem to put on a act then I’m better at that than I thought I was and believe me, that act is purely for you.

I’m caught between the strange sensation of feeling sorry for oneself, keeping a positive mental attitude to everyone, trying not to just vegetate in a chair until I can have a alcoholic beverage at a socially acceptable time and just laying down and hoping nature reclaims me.

I had a plan B. If you don’t know about plan A (get a job) then check the article I did a while back for “How To Be Jobless” run by the excellent Erica Buist. Plan B was to get in to education again and do a masters. However plan B required me to have some sort of success with plan A in order to finance it, given that plan X (write for a living) so far has grossed me a grand total of around £900 in four years.

I ummmed and aaaahd about it because financial stress is not a thing that I need more of. After a particularly intriguing, depressing and drunken night out to celebrate the launch of a university anthology I discussed the idea with my former tutors and friends.

Before I come on to that though, how depressing and horrible is it to be the one guy at a semi reunion failing at life? I mean it wasn’t an exact reunion because we’ve seen each other a few times since university but, and I can hear the voices telling me to stop being so hard on myself already, I am decidedly the worst of our graduating class in the present tense. We were asked to give advice to the next crop of graduates and I declined because I felt telling them I was going to sign on after a year of rejection hell wasn’t the truth they were probably looking for. I do like these reunions because I miss my friends and care a lot about their successes and want to support them. I have a friend in Edinburgh right now… Two technically, and another with an excellent opportunity with Auntie so it’s great that they’re doing so well, along with everyone else.

But I discussed my options with two people who I hold in very high regard for their consul, along with my friends. So I bit the bullet. I applied for a Masters at a prestigious university that I hoped would help my dream cause and found a scholarship program with an equally prestigious organisation to fund it.

I’ve had a year of getting nowhere but it is true that getting closer and failing hurts more. So let me say now that this isn’t a rant, I’m not imparting blame on anyone but myself and the cosmic designs at work to ensure my constant unhappiness and rebuttal of hope.

So I had an interview with said prestigious organisation and the prestigious university asked for references very quickly. I had the hope. It was one of the most nervous things I’ve ever done, the interview, and I’ve asked out girls far prettier and more amazing than a man like me should be deserving of. I got to talk about my favourite things with some amazing people and, apart from it being an incredibly hot day with public transport delays and London reeking of perspiration, I did well.

I still believe that. Despite the fact that late last Friday I found out I was unsuccessful. Which left me very… low. I wasn’t relying on it but it had been a while for a decision and delays breed hope of better news. It also left me with a financial quandary which was soon addressed at 1:10am this morning with a rejection email from the university for the MA programme. So over the course of a long weekend, plan B was fucked.

I haven’t really publicly addressed this because I didn’t tell that many people. In fact this is the first I’ve said to many people about what I was doing because I didn’t want hopes to get up, etc. I’m not exactly happy with myself or the situation and I’m taking this kind of hard. Because I know that it isn’t the last opportunity I have for more education but it was certainly one of the best. Plus going back to a constant grind of job applications and if I’m lucky responses of rejection from them isn’t the most appealing prospect.

I’m trying to focus on the exciting things coming up. I’m going to Germany in a week or so to cover GamesCom 2014, the big European game industry show. I hoped that I could get paid for some freelance work while I’m there which has been another disappointment so it’s a financial mess and an excuse for me to have a holiday/make contacts and give out my new business cards (don’t worry, they aren’t bone colouring with a silian rail type font). I’m also a few thousand words into what I think might become a novel.

But for now, I’m feeling pretty shitty. I feel sorry for my parents who have to put up with me in my grumpy defeated way because it’s not anyone’s fault really and it’s completely out of their control. So please, find me a better metaphor for going back to square one (another strange etymologically mysterious phrase), back to the drowning board, whatever. Because at least if I can get anything out of the past 16 months of disappointing, soul sapping, hope crushing, demoralising hell, then I’d like it to be a personalised one liner metaphor.


  1. thevegancookiefairy · August 6, 2014

    Firstly: you do not fail at life. The only way to fail at life is by either not trying or (heaven forbid) dying, and you have done neither. You’re giving it your all, and for that I think you’re pretty freaking awesome.

    Secondly, though I cannot offer a good metaphor at the moment, I think instead of thinking ‘back to [wherever]’ maybe you should think ‘I’m taking another turn on this road.’ No one ever really goes backwards. I don’t know where these stupid metaphors come from become whatever we do, no matter how much we think we fail, we don’t go backwards, we always go forwards. I think when a plan doesn’t work out, that’s just a fork in the road. So take the turn and keep going forwards.

  2. Rj Ingram · August 13, 2014

    Reboot, Format, Reinstall

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