How do I put this delicately?
I can't. I'm a loser. Yes, it's true, and I have a lifetime of proof.
Before you dismiss this rant as a pathetic cry for sympathy, please consider that it is commonly perceived that "life is a game," and there are more losers than winners in most games. If someone is a winner, that implies that someone else lost. To win, you have to consistently beat the tar out of everybody else all the way to the Superbowl. You win. Everyone else lost, at least once. The record will show that they're all losers. We remember who won the gold, not the silver.
There are games where winning and losing isn't so cut and dried, too. Dungeons and Dragons is like that. You play a character, and you go on adventures with other people playing characters. You win if your group kills the monsters and finds the magic what-not, but it doesn't end there. Your character automatically improves, and you go on to fight bigger monsters and find better what-nots, and you usually get to save the world now and then.
It's "fantasy role-playing," -fantasy being the key word. In the real world, you don't automatically gain levels in whatever you're doing; experience matters, but it doesn't guarantee anything, really. If it did, I'd have more hit points.
So, for the purposes of this rant, winning the Superbowl or the gold medal is the most apt metaphor. There's one winner, and a buttload of losers. I'm somewhere in the buttload. It is what it is.
That's my thing. I'm a loser. It's what I do.
The longest I ever managed to keep a job was 3 years. Most end in a matter of weeks. Either I quit or get fired very early on. That's probably best for all concerned. Losers don't work well with others. They generally don't work well, period. The jobs I managed to keep for up to 3 years were thankless, low-paying drudgery, and, truth be told, I sucked at them. The axe would have fallen sooner if anyone had really noticed my incompetence. Losers have to hide their incompetence. If they could get better at what they're doing, they wouldn't really be losers, would they?
I'm sure that by now you're thinking about all the things we've been told about "life" and "success." If you weren't raised by psychos, you were probably told to find out what you're good at, and try to do that. It's good advice. Many people do find something that they're really good at, and make a satisfying career of it.
Losers do that process over and over, and even if they find things they're good at, they're not good enough at it to make a living. I'm pretty good at lots of things, myself. I'm just not good enough to "win," -i.e., make any money at it, or even get personal satisfaction from it. Okay, maybe, but not great. No gold medal for me, and sometimes I really gave it my best.
I remember going to an event a few years ago, and I got my palm read. I don't believe in that stuff, but it seemed like a fun thing to do at the time, and it was free. What the hell, right?
Turns out my palm said what I already knew. I asked the palm reader if there was any chance I'd ever find something great; a good career, a calling, the love of my life, a lucky number, SOMETHING?
She said no.
Don't get all depressed, now. I'm just illustrating my point. A perfect stranger using less-than-proven methodology couldn't even give me an encouraging word. You'd think she could come up with something to make me feel a little better about myself. That would be the polite thing to do. She had nothing.
More proven methods of measuring aptitudes and success paint an even uglier picture. I'm a loser. There's no way to put it nicely.
When I was a kid, I dreamed of being great. I didn't want to end up living a life of dead-end jobs I couldn't even keep. I wanted to make the world a better place, find my niche, be somebody, fit in, be cool, gain acceptance, be loved. I believed that if I tried really hard, I'd find a way to make it, or at least rise to my highest level of incompetence in something. I struggled, prayed, kept trying. Sorry, pal. You lose.
Maybe I'm just not applying myself. Maybe I should be more ambitious, take a chance, find a career counselor, take some classes, learn a useful skill. Maybe I should think positively about things, and my good energy would help me forge a way. Maybe I wouldn't be such a loser if I stopped telling myself what a loser I am.
They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. My problem is that I'm a loser. It's very obvious in many measurable ways. An alcoholic could stop drinking, go to AA or something like that, and while they'll always be an alcoholic, they can stop doing the thing that causes their problems, and live a better life.
Being a loser isn't like that. It's not something you can stop doing. You don't just "stop losing." You try and fail as a fact of life. The best you can do is accept that you're a loser, and be glad you're breathing.
My loserhood isn't that big of a problem to me, now. It's a problem to others; the boss, the landlord, anybody who expects me to do things well or pay them on time. They'll be disappointed.
I'm on the losing end of the bell curve. I was born that way. The only way I could "succeed" in life is if all the smart and talented people in the world suddenly died. That might be good for me, but if I were vaulted to a position where I'd have to be good at it, I'd fail. Not good.
As long as there's competition, there will be losers; the people who don't get the job, fail the test, lose the girl to a better man. "One hundred men, we'll test today. Only 3 win the green beret." I'm in the 97. The lower half, near the bottom.
Everybody's good at something. That's what I've been told. It's not true, at least for me. Everybody sucks at something. I'm more inclined to believe that.
Being a loser isn't something to be ashamed of. You can't change that any more than you can change your race. You're stuck being you, and existing isn't a crime, at least not at the moment.
Everybody loses. Some more than others, but when you exhibit a consistent pattern of losing all your life, you're a fool to think you're not a loser. Accept it, and strive for mediocrity. If there was an organization to help losers, like "Jerry's loser kids," or something like that, maybe they would find a cure.
Until that day comes, I'll just have to play the hand I've been dealt. A losing hand.
I hope you enjoyed my rant, gentle reader. I hope it helps you, in some way, in understanding what it's like to be a loser. If you aren't a loser, that's great. If you are a loser, acceptance is the key to a tolerable life. Losing isn't everything.