Failure, the Monster of Fear

I want to design things.

I keep seeing videos or projects or posters or fonts that make me want to make stuff. I listen to songs that make me want to make things and everything is just beautiful and so well done and I want to be able to do that too, but I can’t.

I hate the learning process. Let me unpack that a bit… I like learning new things, but I like to learn them and be able to be good at them right away. Maybe I like to discover things. Discovering things usually means they’re ready to go, like discovering a talent for something! Learning things means having to not be very good at them at first. It means being able to see something I want to be able to make so perfectly in my minds eye, and not being able to recreate it.

Learning is frustrating, it’s hard, it’s discouraging, it’s frightening. What if what I desire to create is something I will never achieve? What if no matter how hard I work and study and learn, I’ll never develop the ability to truly do to the extent I desire?

This week I feel like I’ve seen so many things that spark that desire to create, but I haven’t created a thing because I’m scared to try and sure I’ll fail. People tell me otherwise and they say I’ll be great, or they say, that’s part of learning! but that doesn’t actually lessen the sting of failure. I’ve built up failure as a monster of a fear in my mind’s eye, I might only be looking at the shadow, failure could be a mouse in front of a candle’s flame, but that shadow on the wall is big and scary and I’m not sure I can face it just yet. I begin to wonder if I’ll ever be ready to face it.


These are some things that I loved the look and sound and feel of lately:

Tessa’s music video for her song “Dream”

Dodie’s song “Sick of Losing Soulmates” (heads up, contains swear words)

Episode 1 of Emily’s webseries “Cold” (everything Emily touches is so beautifully made, her Letters to July series are amazing)


I turn 23 at the end of this week. It sounds too grown up.



Re-entering a Changing World

“What everybody became CIA or agents and stuff like that? Because that’s the only thing I can think of. Somebody walking around with wires in their ears.”

What if you had never seen someone wearing headphones, or using a cell phone? In seeing these gadgets in use for the first time, it could be quite easy to assume they were some kind of spy tech. Otis Johnson thought they could be when he re-entered society after 44 years in prison at the age 69.

Johnson is truly enjoying being free for the first time in decades and through a short documentary made by Al Jazeera we see as he relearns about the world around him and delights in the small things of life. He’s astonished by advertisements projected onto a window in Times Square, he enjoys sitting in the sun and watching people – a luxury that he was not accorded in prison. Grocery stores are a trove of new things to discover containing anything and everything from peanut butter mixed with jelly to brightly coloured Gatorade. “I started drinking that once and a while.” Johnson says, “Just because it looks funny.”

So many things in our lives can be easy taken for granted, watching someone discover them for the first time can be extremely refreshing.

Watch the full documentary here: