A Conversation About Failure


From: Jane P. Chung
Subject: “Are you happy?”
Date: March 11, 2011
To: Jasmine Star

I don’t know if you remember, but the last time we worked together at Pelican Hill, you stared me straight in the eye and asked me if I was happy. Ever since you asked me that – and I don’t get asked that often – I’ve been asking myself that daily. Not because I’m not happy, but just because it remains with me as such a profound gut check.

X put me in contact with Y at Flower Company and I’m going to be starting as her assistant in April. It all happened so fast in the span of a few days but when Y actually offered me the job, instead of jumping for joy for the gig of my dreams at the moment, I found myself completely paralyzed with fear. Fear of change, fear of the lost of security, fear of failure – big fat Fear with a capital F. (And frankly, the fear of the drive from Los Angeles to Newport Beach daily. :)) It occurred to me that as I stood on the cusp of a cliff I’ve been wanting and waiting for, I suddenly wasn’t sure I wanted to jump at all. It boggled my mind. Then I thought of you, your story, and your advice to be true to yourself and to speak your hopes and dreams aloud. I realized I’m so blessed to even have this opportunity come at a time when I could make the career change but most importantly, that there is a great possibility that I’d be able to answer a resounding YES if ever asked again about my happiness.

here’s to endless optimism for your dream home on the beach…

From: Jasmine Star
Subject: RE: “Are you happy?”
Date: March 12, 2011
To: Jane P. Chung

you. oh, you.
i’m so, so darn proud of you! this is it! this is what we’ve been waiting for. yes, i made it plural because i am so sure of you.
and, i hate to break it to you, failure is going to come. without a doubt. but failure comes in whatever path you choose in life and, really, it’s how you deal with failure that makes you a success. and happy. trust me…i speak from experience.
and–oh emm gee–that commute is going to suck. horribly. but if you love what you do, then it doesn’t matter. and maybe you can work east coast hours and avoid the madness on the freeways. or whatever.
yes, you are blessed. know this. embrace this. cherish this.
at the end of the day, it’s better to have tried and failed, than to have lived your life in a constant state of what-if. get those hands covered in pollen, girl…THIS. IS. IT!!!!!!!!!!!
lah-lah-love you,