Reverb11: Disappointment’s Blessings

What is the one disappointment that has turned out to be a blessing in the last 12 months? How will this affect how you will deal with disappointment in the future?

This has been the most difficult prompt for me thus far in Reverb11. The fact is, I have many disappointments from which I could choose, but I am not so sure any of them this year have actually turned out to be blessings. Truth be told, I am not the most adept individual when it comes to finding the silver lining around the cloud.  I will try not to cast judgement on myself for that here in this venue, and instead just consider it a given within this context.

I suppose it is because I have rarely had the experience of a personal plan working out. And because it is so uncommon for me to set a specific goal, lay out a plan for it, and achieve success as defined by accomplishing said goal in the manner I choose, I have an extra potent desire at times to do so. So thirsty am I in my life to have something go successfully from point A to point B in the manner of my choosing, that I am prone to consider any detour a failure in its own right. Even if I get to something similar to my destination in the end, I don’t like being constantly told, by people or the Universe that what I have reflected on, considered, reflected on again, discussed with others and decided upon after a soul searching session is in fact DOA.

Something, somewhere at sometime needs to go the way I choose, quite frankly, or what is the point of doing anything? Why not just lay down in the grass and hope the wind blows things into your lap? Why make plans if they are never carried out? I do get this way at times, and that is why I am not much into the “blessing in disguise” thing once trains start jumping tracks.

In order to fulfill the prompt, however, I have opted to choose one thing. Certainly not the only disappointment, or even the only big disappointment for me this year. But it is the one from which half a dozen others spring.

I am disappointed that my writing failed to yield the money and connections this year that I sought.

I closed up shop at the once promising Brazen Careerist because of how much the quality and clientele had degraded. I increased my presence on Twitter, and have met some good people there, but I have not landed much business from it. I have not made much of that networking lucrative. And the clips I do have here and there have never yielded anything further. Not bigger work within the company, nor more work at another. The writing just did not take off as planned. (Despite some compliments from some accomplished people.)

As a result, I was unable to make a dent in my debts like I wanted to. Unable to live in a better place like I wanted to, and I was forced to move into my mother’s spare room as I have often mentioned here. This blog’s original concept and purpose never got off the ground, and I have just in general not put myself where I wanted to be by the end of 2011. Huge let down for me that I am still working through.

I have to reboot. Start over. Try to find a way to remain Too XYZ, and true to myself while breaking through the thick cloud of bad luck and little opportunity I have been fighting for quite some time now. Though I am already behind schedule, I have begun to lay out plans to ask questions and research who I need to be talking to in order to build me a new website (cheap) and discuss marketing solutions (even cheaper.) I have discovered I need to do more types of writing with which I am not as familiar, and market those services as well.

And I need to do it all with little money and even less know-how.

So that is, by the definition of many these days, the blessing. By my failure this year, I am once again forced to reevaluate where I stand, where I need to be standing, and what steps I need to take to get closer to my form of success. I am not sure I have yet gotten to the point where I see all of this as a blessing, though doubtless many of my contemporaries would extol the promise in having to start from square one. (While they of course are not required so to do.) I see a bit of where they are coming from, and while I cannot toot my horn about it, I will at least pay lip service to this prompt and declare that this professional failure in 2011 to meet my goals contains at least the potential for blessing, despite the large disappointment it brings with it.

This of course leads into the second part of the prompt. How it will affect the way I handle disappointment in the future? I remain less certain about this. I suppose in some ways it has taught me that I can never be truly secure in my plans, goals and aspirations, and that at any time I may have to be ready to settle for second third or fourth best behind same. That in a Buddhist approach, I should seek to not become too attached to an outcome, and instead seek to learn something from the experience. If I am changed at all, it is towards a more cautious cynicism.

In short, I will not be as surprised or knocked down by future disappointments and will instead wait around a bit, tread water, and see what island I wash up on before I start building a shelter.

I can’t help but wonder though that if this is what I have come away with in regards to my biggest disappointment of the year, if it has done me much good. It does not sound like an upbeat approach to me, and I would rather be happy than ready for anything. Yet that wasn’t in the cards for 2011.

This prompt and this post did not make me feel happier at the end than when I first sat down to write it, unlike the other prompts. I think it is time, now that I have fulfilled the “obligation” to move on without much more thought on this one. Disappointment and I do not get along very well at all.


  1. ” If I am changed at all, it is towards a more cautious cynicism.” I. Love. This. Even in the short time I've known you, I feel like this is a huge step in a positive direction. Of course you'd rather be happy than ready for anything, buy I'd argue the latter is a good stepping stone to the former.

  2. Cynicism is intellectually lazy, in my opinion. So, being more cautiously so is a step in the right direction.

  3. You may be right, Jennifer. We will have to see.

    Mark- I can't agree that being a cynic is lazy, even while I accept that not everyone finds themselves being one. It may not always be the most pleasant thing to be, but I have not arrived there as a result of laziness.

    The consensus does seem to be that I am taking somewhat of the right step at present though. Here's is hoping both of you are correct in that regard.

  4. I had the same problem, finding something that went from disappointment to blessing was impossible for me. Great post, even if writing it did kinda suck it was really good. Thanks for sharing.

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