Without Fail

What would I do if I knew that I absolutely could not fail?

The practical part of my brain always seems to win whenever I even so much as entertain this question, because ultimately even if I knew I wasn’t going to fail I should still be practical right? I shouldn’t say I want to skydive without a parachute and live to tell the tale. Or that I want to surf through shark infested waters because somehow they always seem to have the best surf and want to come out the other side not viciously attached. I shouldn’t say that I want to rob a vault of all the precious things and not get caught, because I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t pick anything outright illegal when playing this game. Or maybe now is the perfect time to get illegal. Although that could open up a whole different can of worms.

But no, I must be practical. It’s almost the only thing that I am capable of. So, what would I do if I knew I wouldn’t fail at all?

Easy. Interior designer.

I would make people’s houses pretty for a living. Now I know that doesn’t all that impractical really in the grand scheme of things because people do actually make a living doing that kind of thing, but not in my family.

We’re all lawyers or doctors. There’s the odd professor. Basically we all give off the illusion of being well educated and being hard workers. If someone tells you they’re a doctor or a lawyer a part of your brain can’t help but be very impressed because you’ve heard how much work that takes and how long that requires you to actually be in school for. Even professors take a lot of doing. There seems to be a clear distinction between the way that teachers and professors are thought of. Everyone seems to think, whether they mean to or not, that one is ‘smarter’ than the other. All of them are well respected.

Being academic like that has never really been my thing. Not even close. I can pass. I have passed up until this point. It has taken a lot of work, but I’ve got there you know. And now I have all the pressure of people in the family asking which route I’m going to take. They dress it up as a question about what I’m actually going to college to do, but what they are all really asking is whether it’s law or medicine for me.

The answer is law, but honestly I would rather it was neither. I like working with colours and patterns and textures. I like figuring out ways to make a blank space come alive. I like making a space feel like a home. I like being able to be creative.

I don’t like the notion of having to spend my life in a courtroom. Or having to study books and laws and having that level of responsibility.

But the problem is that it is a tried and tested method. The whole family has made something of themselves in those professions. They all have varying degrees of success in their field of choice, but none of them have out and out failed at it either.

It’s not even that I don’t think someone will support my decision in wanting to branch out and be ‘arty’, it’s just that I think there would be a pressure to be good at it. If I failed then I would basically be giving them the right to say ‘I told you so’ and I think that might be worse than just not even trying in the first place. If I was going to even entertain going down that road than I would have to know that I was going to do well at it. I would have to know that I wasn’t going to fail.

So, if I knew I wasn’t going to fail,that is what I would do. I would work towards being an interior designer.

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Sophie, twenty-something, avid reader, writer, really good at watching whole seasons of TV shows in one weekend and using 10 words where 5 will do, overzealous user of the ellipsis and parentheses, starts too many sentences with ‘and’ and ‘so’, living in a continual state of Wanderlust.

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