What have I become?

I am naught but a failure.


Without personal goals and dreams,

Without an impressive and commendable career,

Without a well-travelled lifestyle,

Without an adornment of technological jewels,

Without a foot on the property ladder,

Without a dazzling wedding ring,

Without a soulmate by our side,

Without children to build our legacy,

Without the perfect body,

Without a photogenic face,

Without sex appeal,

Without a clean bill of physical health,

Without mental strength and integrity,

Without self-confidence,

Without humility,

Society deems us failures.


I am a failure.


We are all failures.

Emma H, age 25, 27/10/2016


This poem is somewhat linked to my previously posted poems The Pursuit of Happiness and Under Pressure.

On this International Women’s Day, I thought to highlight the ridiculous pressures we (particularly women but also men) face in terms of our image, behaviour, lifestyle, career etc. Ultimately it is completely infeasible to achieve all of the “ideals” that our society parades in front of us, and this will leave us constantly chasing and unsatisfied, feeling like failures – when the reality is that we are all in the same position, no one person is perfect. And who’s to say that these measures of success are the “ideal” fit to everyone? The simple truth is that we would be far happier if we were able to ignore these expectations, do what suits us best and let each other live… but regretfully it’s often difficult to break free of the cycle of (self-) judgment.

One thought on “Success

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