Thoughts on Failure

The transcript of this video is below.

Parents care a lot about grades. They want their kids to get into a good school to get a good job.

But who defines good?

It’s not a word that dictates any more about a person than the buzzwords on their resume.

My freshman year of high school I would cry over my math homework at the desk in our living room. No matter how much effort I put into studying, I never felt like I understood what I needed to do to succeed.

I never felt good about my work or the class. I asked the teacher for help, but that never felt like enough.

One day while crying over a failed test my mom asked me: “Did you try?”

I told her I asked the teacher for help after school, I did extra homework problems. Whatever the teacher recommended, I did.

She then asked, “Did you do everything you could?”

I told her yes.

She patted my back and hugged me. “Then you gave it your best. It’s okay that you’re not good at math. At least you can say you tried.”

Failure sucks. It is the worst feeling to know you didn’t succeed somewhere that you should have. But failure or the feeling of failure isn’t something to look at negatively.

If you tried and did all you could, then you didn’t fail.

You did your best.

It’s okay to not be good at something.

So it goes.

The transcript of this video is below.

As a freshman, my friend Jess told me that the next four years would fly by. Time is a goon.

It’s the weekend before finals, and as I and my peers write term papers and rehearse presentations, I’m faced with bidding farewell to a place I’m privileged to call home. This bittersweet experience makes my throat get tight and my eyes well.

For the first time in four years, I’m going to pack up my room and not move across campus for the summer. I won’t walk into the Office of Residence Life for work and spend my evenings hanging out with friends on the RA staff.

College is this strange time in your life where you are figuring out who you are. A process that doesn’t stop after you put on the cap and gown.

In two weeks I’m going to cross a stage and be given a diploma. A piece of paper that represents my academic achievement. What it doesn’t show is the tears, mental breakdowns, coffee cups, laughter, late nights, and friends I gained along the way.

I grew far more at college than I ever would have anticipated. That growth changed me for the better, even though at times it didn’t feel worth it.

Wherever I end up I will have these memories to look back on. They say when one door closes, another opens. But this feels like more than that. This is more than closing a chapter of my life.

So it goes.

About those rejection emails

I am going to make the assumption I am not getting accepted to grad school this year. With four out of five rejections in, I think I can bet on the final rejection coming at some point in the next week or two. Or perhaps I should assume by their silence that it won’t happen this year.

If I were a traditional college student, I think this number of rejections would hurt a lot more. Early-twenties me would have taken the rejection much harder, which would have fueled my imposter syndrome in a way that perhaps would have made me reconsider writing. The self-deprecation of my skills was stronger then.

At twenty-seven I’m taking these rejection emails in stride. I can make some guesses as to why I’m being told no. My research subject was too odd. My research was too specific. My research wasn’t targeting the right school. I can’t art for the one MFA program I applied to. You know what, though? That’s fine.

I keep reminding myself that things happen for a reason.

I’ll sulk into some video games and comic books this weekend, maybe even treat myself to some Mr. Macs or tacos.

And then I’ll dive head first into the job applications. I’ll talk to some professors about their thoughts on my next steps, and see what advice they can give me.

I’ve been rejected from things before, and I’ve learned that I function best by taking my negative energy and putting it towards something new.

We’ll see what I make this time.

Marvel & Espionage

Marvel’s main focus has been on the superheroes. Agents of Shield does have a slight focus on the normal people but for the most part, they’ve been focused on the rise of the Inhumans. That makes sense given the Inhumans show they are developing.

Why can’t they do a larger focus on the characters that help make up the superhero teams that don’t have powers?

Marvel has a wide variety of characters who are known spies and assassins. Bobbi Morse, Black Widow, and Hawkeye (Kate and Clint) to just name a few. If you haven’t read their comics, I highly recommend checking them out. Of course then there’s our oldest spy and founder of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Peggy Carter.

Espionage movies are popular with the most well-known spy being none other than James Bond. He is followed closely by a host of other spy films like Kingsmen, the Bourne series, the Mission: Impossible series and the list goes on from a simple Google search.Why are we so enamored with spy films?

Some of this has to do with the blind belief that our security organizations know what they’re doing. History might dictate otherwise of course. It might also be the escapist idea that there is more happening in the world than what we know. Somewhere there’s a car chase happening through the streets of some European city because an operative has been compromised. Someone is dropping out of a helicopter onto a snow-capped mountain to break into a hidden hideout of an enemy.

It all sounds like a grand adventure.

Maybe it’s time some of the adventures are given greater depth. Superheroes and the actions they take against an enemy are at a macro level. Their world knows when there is an attack on a city or when an enemy rises from the shadows. It’s a little hard to ignore when aliens are flying down from a wormhole in the sky and turning New York City into a giant game of Galaga.

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By having a series of movies or a television show that focuses on what happens with characters like Kate Bishop, Clint Barton, Black Widow, or Bobbi Morse, then it expands the universe and shows the secret side of things. Granted, I understand that Agents of SHIELD is supposed to be just that, but they have been slowly taking that in a different direction with more and more Inhumans cropping up.

Perhaps once Inhumans comes out, they’ll take the series back to its espionage roots. If they want to do a greater foray into the espionage genre, pulling in the Hawkeyes and Black Widow would be an excellent way to do it.

Marvel has a lot happening so I can imagine they’re busy planning the different phases of the MCU.

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I’m not as well-versed in the espionage genre, but fellow writer and blogger, Katie, is. 

Ten Comics that Should Be Shows/Movies

According to Goodreads, I’ve read a lot of comics in the past eight months. It seemed like a solid time to go back through my comic loves and figure out what stories should get a chance on the big screen or a TV show.

10. LumberJanes
This is the last because it’s already being worked on for a film. I think it could easily be turned into a great show. I don’t think a movie would do the comics justice. They’ve had Supernatural run for far too many seasons, so I think it’s time to give the LumberJanes a chance to shine. The girls of LumberJanes are funny, intelligent, and not afraid to be themselves. Plus they’re super queer, and I think we need more queer people of color.

9. Spider-Gwen
Gwen Stacey deserves more than just being killed off for Peter’s growth. She’s smart, and her comic features a girl who, much like Peter Parker, ends up with powers and tries her best to be the hero the world needs. And the hero that Peter Parker aspired to be. This is a comic worth reading, and definitely, one worth getting an opportunity on the big screen.

8. Paper Girls
Everyone is fawning over Stranger Things so why not have a show that focuses on four adolescent girls that stumble upon quite the odd series of events? Less funny, and more serious, this comic is worth reading if you aren’t already.

7. Black Widow
Natasha Romanov’s story should be Marvel’s entry into the spy thriller genre. Her story is beautifully illustrated by Phil Noto and is a great way to showcase what Natasha does when she’s not with the Avengers. Plus, who wouldn’t want to know what happens in Budapest?

6. Kitty Pryde
Kitty has long been a character loved by X-Men fans, myself included. She’s been pushed to the background for the X-Men films, which is a huge shame. Kitty has held an important role in the X-Men canon, and I think that’s long been forgotten since many of her important roles have gone to Wolverine (cause they’re actually BFFs) in the movies. Maybe it is too late now to give her more on the big screen, but if Marvel wants to continue with the X-Men, she’d be a great character to give a solo film.

5. America Chavez
Ms. America Chavez recently got her own solo comic, which has been much demanded by fans of her. She’s a powerful badass who can punch holes between worlds, fly, and has super strength. Not to mention she’s an alien. And super gay. Next to Ms. Marvel, American is another character we need right now. Not to mention America’s variant covers are some of the best I’ve seen.

4. Ultimate Spider-Man
Miles Morales is a character that I love and feel should get more attention. Much like Peter, Miles is a kid that gets spidey powers and starts to save his home from the local baddies that seem to show up in New York City. He breathes fresh life into a superhero moniker that has gone stale with Peter Parker.

3. Silk
Cindy Moon aka Silk is a Korean-American who is a step out of touch with her generation. Her nickname is “Analog” by her boss. She’s not someone that initially wanted her powers, and I think that’s an important metaphor for many aspects of life. Cindy spends her time working like Peter Parker and figuring out the world ten years after she locked herself away. If you’re not reading Silk, she’s worth reading about.

2. Faith
I recently read this, shared to me by Katie. And it was excellent. Faith should get so much more attention as a character, and a superhero. She is beautiful and a character who embodies body positivity and how important it is to have not only diverse characters but also characters with diverse bodies. Not everyone has that Dorito-chip body like Chris Evans, or the classic curves of ScarJo. You need superheroes like Faith.

1. Ms. Marvel
I’m not the only one that has put Kamala Khan at the top of my list. She’s a Pakistani-American who has taught me so much about her culture. Not to mention Kamala also teaches about finding the balance between two cultures for second-generation immigrant children; and then the triumvirate, her superpowers. Kamala Khan is a character that people need to see on the screen because she would change the minds of those afraid of immigrants.

Honorable Mentions: Rocket Girl, Bitch Planet, The Wicked + The Divine, Rat Queens, Nimona.

What character would you want to see get a TV series or a movie? Let me know in the comments below!