JK Rowling delivered a speech to the graduating class at Harvard University on the Fringe Benefits of Failure. In it she says, " It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default". I wish I had heard her speech sooner, because up until that point in my life I had never felt like a failure. But there I was watching my extremely intelligent friends pursue grad school, and getting published for their work in plant genetics and I was had no idea what route to take to happiness. See that was the thing I wanted to be guaranteed that the path I took would lead to happiness, otherwise why invest time and effort into it. This to me was failure, working so hard at something only to find that it wasn't what I wanted after all and having to start back at the beginning. For some reason I looked at happiness as a destination when all happiness really is is a state of mind.
So what does a lonely depressed person do, in my family we get pets. It would have been far too cliche to become the crazy cat lady at 22 so therefore I set my sights on a dog... a German Shepard to be precise and not two weeks later one showed up on my aunts door step. She was the perfect dog at first, and then my aunt told me that when I left the house she started whining and crying and didn't stop until I returned. She developed strange sores on her face where she had scratched away her fur. Turns out I got a dog with severe separation anxiety which was helped slightly by staying with my mothers dogs when I left the house. So I moved home and started Sunny the dog on a round of Prozac followed by Chinese herbs. Neither of which work all that well.
So my first foray into the world of pet ownership kinda failed but it led to me moving home which it turns out was enough to lift me out of my depression, apparently living in the city is more than I can handle. The funny thing was moving home didn't feel like failure to me, even though I was indeed backtracking, because I wasn't starting from scratch I was simply going in a different direction with newly attained knowledge and a psychotic dog.