¨If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same…¨
– Rudyard Kipling, ¨If¨
11:23 PM. On the floor, reading.
Finding ways to distract my mind from missing Spain and feeling like a failure during the job hunt process, I went to the library for a stroll among the bookshelves. Soon enough (like 2 minutes after walking in), I found myself walking towards the non-fiction section and stopped in the third to last row. World history. Go figured.
A bright tangerine book caught my attention right away. Titled ¨Hannibal and Me¨, this book brought me back to Cartagena (meaning ¨New Carthage¨), Spain, where my history buff side roamed free. I imagined walking on the same road as the Carthaginian General Hannibal was on his way to cross the Alps into Italy. His brilliant strategic and bold mind had shaken the Roman Empire with doubts and fear. It is easy to consider him one of the most successful generals of all time. After all, is there any military triumph more devastating that the Battle of Cannae?
Needless to say, I idolized Hannibal. His boldness, his bravery, his grit. However, after reading this book, I realized that despite his ¨successful¨ accomplishments, Hannibal failed to meet his ultimate objective: to defeat Rome. Therefore, his ¨success¨ that we repeated heard and romanticized about was actually an imposter.
This book has changed a viewpoint forever. It felt like my gleaming glass castle came crashing down. Now Hannibal no longer seemed like a distant idol, but someone relateable: a mere mortal who has accomplished some astonishing things but was also too ambitious and prone to making mistakes. A hero who failed his quest.
But the most important lesson from this book can be found in the very last paragraph. Andreas Kluth wrote:
¨Don´t agonize about success or failure. Just do what you must do as well as you possibly can. In the process you may eventually transcend triumph and disaster. That is how to meet those two imposters.¨
My getaway is that, for now, I must keep applying for the job I would be happy waking up to do while continue saving money working at my old part-time job. Just because I got an interview doesn´t mean it is a ¨success¨, while getting turned down should not be equated to ¨failure¨ either. I will find free time to do what I love: reading, learning new things, researching new travel ideas, planning possible upcoming trips, watching MotoGP, and blogging.
So it seems like a new post about my trip to Cartagena is coming soon, huh?