One of my biggest failures in life is ongoing. It is that I have not tried nearly as hard as I can to find happiness when it comes to my career. Once I become comfortable in a job environment, it’s difficult for me to escape out of fear of failure—but this in itself is a much bigger failure, I think. I’m not happy. I know what I want, but am too afraid to seek it.

Over three years ago, I began working where I am now. I’m proud to say I’ve been given the opportunity, twice, to move up to a more significant position, but I do not feel fulfilled. I enjoy the work I do, but I don’t enjoy the company. It’s embarrassing to work for people who have such little regard for their employees. They see each employee as a machine more than as a person. Overall, my higher-ups are selfish and narrow-minded. It’s downright draining and degrading to be a part of something like that.

I know I’m unhappy in this situation, and yet I can’t be bothered to try harder to find something else. In this way, I have failed and am continuing to do so. But through all my years spent at a company I don’t like, I am learning more and more about what I do want in my career—I’m learning about myself, and things I won’t stand for in the future. So I suppose I will eventually get to a breaking point, but who’s to say when?

I have failed, but I am also confident that my situation will change in the future. But the only person who can change that is me, and I need to put in a ton of effort. In the last three years, I’ve learned much more about myself than at any other job. I like to compare it to a bad relationship—no matter how many rough patches you go through, you still come out of it learning something that can shape your future. This is exactly how I feel about where I’m at. I’m not proud that it’s taken me this long, and that I’ve put myself through so much stress. I’m not proud that I cry on my drive home. And I’m certainly not proud that I haven’t stood up for myself. In this way, I have failed. But in this way, I have also learned.