I'm A Failure
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Health and Wellness

I'm A Failure

And it took a 3 week trip in Alaska for me to reach this valuable conclusion.

I'm A Failure
Original photo - Alex DeBellis

There was no sign of the sun, as it had been blocked by the gray clouds that draped themselves over the Alaskan sky for the past two days. Droplets of rain patter-pattered on the surface of the large, circus-like tent we congregated under. The faint scent of damp seaweed and rain gear filled the air. I had never experienced so much rain, and I was continuously reminded that I was no longer in the arid climate of Arizona. When my cook group and I huddled around our camp stove, it was decided that I would be the chef of the night.

I felt entirely confident with my cooking skills. I mean, I had prepared plenty of dishes at home including ramen, instant oatmeal, and the occasional cheese quesadilla. I thought I was set for success when I decided to test my cooking skills by dishing up mac and cheese. Although mac and cheese is quite basic, I assumed I would spice it up and create a culinary masterpiece. As I accumulated all my ingredients, I could already hear the praises of my partners.

I heated the camping stove and put a pot of water on top to boil. Eventually, the water came to a boil and the pasta was cooked. Everything was going according to my master chef plans. I began to pour in the other necessities: milk, chunks of cheese, some salt and I began to stir. I stirred for a solid minute and a half and the cheese would only melt in congealed blobs that would not disperse evenly throughout the noodles. “No need to worry, just some technical difficulties,” I reassured my group as a frustrated blush began to creep up my cheeks and my arm muscles began to ache from stirring. To say the least, this problematic dish was nowhere near the gourmet meal I had envisioned.

I felt my insides sink. I never thought to ask for help, and I began to feel anxiety exerting pressure on my chest. After several failed attempts to revive my lackluster mac and cheese, I finally admitted defeat.

My group members dished up the goopy mess and ate it without any complaints or looks of contempt, but my disappointment remained. To make matters worse, there were plenty of leftovers that confronted me with my less than stellar performance. I just really wanted to retire to my tent a little early so I could cry.

The next day, another cooking group made a few cups of hot chocolate without realizing that the powder they used was brownie mix. As quizzical looks graced their faces, the entire tent filled with laughter. At that moment, I realized that I needed to let go of my perfectionism and accept failure. After witnessing another group laugh off a simple mistake, I finally understood the obvious fact that sometimes failure is okay. You can laugh about it, learn from it, tell your grandchildren stories about it or just completely forget about it.

Besides, the human species has persisted for this long, so I guess a botched pasta dish isn’t going to disrupt the course of history.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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