Second Chances Rarely Come

Second Chances Rarely Come

A Story by Ian Faraway

Failure is never easy. In fact, I can safely say that after all my own mistakes and failures in my own life, that it always takes a toll. But I think the toll comes from wanting something to happen so badly that you dream about it and when you're not dreaming, you're thinking about it. That failure becomes almost a looming shadow that grows and grows when it feeds on your own guilt, or sadness, or regret. It can, and will, manifest itself into an ocean of blackness that will be beyond your control.

I say this, not as a pessimistic, but as a realist. I'm living it. So I can say it. I failure occurred in my life almost two years ago and, like many others, I'd do anything to correct it or get another shot. This failure, if you are wondering, was my deployment to USMC Boot Camp on Parris Island and unable to finish my 13 weeks and sent home. But why did my failure happen the way it did? 

Honestly, I don't know.

On one hand, I think there was a measure of miscommunication that gave everyone around me the wrong impression. I put everyone in my platoon ahead of myself and did my best to look after their well being. I wanted to see them succeed. At the time, I believed I was a leader. A good leader. But not one who stood out from the pack. So don't get me wrong. I would've stayed and suffered with my brothers.

On the other hand, I was told (someone close and blood related) that I simply quit. I hate to admit that such things would happen when I was so close to achieving what I always wanted but, looking back at what happened, it seems possible. It wasn't that training was hard. Hell, I enjoyed it some times. It was the stress of not knowing.
See, I couldn't be someone who stood tall and led other people when my way of showing example was to lie. But i can't deny that some points, it felt like I was giving up. Like I didn't try harder to fight against what was happening. But I could see the look in people's eyes. Unable to process how I went to there to where I am now. And they probably wonder, like I do, "what the hell happened?"

 When I was younger, I was put into a mental hospital for a week due to mental illness. I didn't think it was a problem and I still don't. It was when I was a kid and that's where it should've stayed. But I'll be damned if I was going to betrayed the leadership traits that I was demanded to know. Was I only to know them and not exercise them? I don't know anymore.

That was where the miscommunication comes in. They thought I said I was currently depressed, while in boot camp, when I was really talking about getting a waiver for the past. By the time I figured that out, I was already on my way out of Parris Island with shame weighing heavier than the ruck sack marches.


The 14 key leadership traits that I learned and burned into my heart. 

And I like to think that I did my best in following these traits, except my bearing could use some work. Maybe it's just an excuse. But I spoke up and tried to get a waiver because what kind of person would learn these traits and then not follow them? Lead by example, right? For just one week that went wrong when I was a kid, everything I wanted for my future was taken.

 Do I regret it? No. I told the truth. Do I wish I could handle the situation differently? Of course. I doubt it would've changed much but I always wanted to lead by example.

Sometimes I'll see a name or be reminded of a person that I helped get into the Marine Corps and see a picture of them in uniform while I'm at home. It stings, honestly. 

Some nights I won't dream and those would be the best nights. Other nights, I'll have dreams of failures and it eating away at me. I don't like to fail but it's all I've done with my life so far. 

But I won't it. I wanted that uniform and emblem and I was so close. But not if it meant lying and putting my life in my brother's hands and theirs in mine while I held a secret such as a small mental illness as a kid. 

Now? I dream of that second chance and I dream of a better life with my fellow military brothers. A life doing what's right and leading by example. A life with fear but pushing forward anyways to the point where fear is simply a small thing such as happiness is to me now. I go to the gym. I push myself hard but not as hard as I could be. Because I have no real purpose to push myself beyond limits inside the gym. I've been said 'no' to by the military for going back in. But I still go to the gym. I don't know why. I know it's not for the health or the body or the fun. Maybe because a small part of me still hopes for that chance to go back in and wants to be ready in case it does.

I dream of that one day. Maybe. Just maybe. I'll correct this failure and be able to succeed and be happy. I fear, though, that second chances rarely come.

© 2014 Ian Faraway

Author's Note

Ian Faraway
Don't be offended by the picture I used. I used it because it does have to do with said branch and save a good resemblance to this story and what it's about.

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Added on March 20, 2014
Last Updated on March 20, 2014
Tags: journal, thoughts, military, failures, honesty, unsure, second, chances


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