In the infamous Trans-Antarctica expedition of 1914, Shackleton and his crew attempted to make the never been done before trek across the continent of Antarctica. To get there they took a ship called the Endurance. This was a brave attempt for many reasons, firstly it was a trip across the most inhospitable part of the planet!? Obviously. Secondly, how anyone with a ship made of a wood decided to go back into the iceberg covered waters of the Atlantic after the Titanic had sank 2 years earlier is beyond me.
In short, the expedition was not a success. In fact, so much so, that Shackleton and his crew weren’t able to make it to Antarctica. Although the story in itself is a success, it was and still is one of the most fascinating feats of endurance ever told.
Now without wanting to compare myself with the astonishing man that is Sir Ernest Shackleton and his doomed expedition to the depths of the earth*. I, myself, had a failed expedition today. For my birthday my girlfriend organised for us to both go pottery painting, and so far due to my regularly depressive and anxious moments, we have been unable to go.
Now theres some people out there that may suggest Shackleton and his crew went through worse. And they’d be right. But for me, today has been a struggle, for no reason. As is depression’s want.
It is not only feeling terrible for no reason that comes into play, but rather like the sinking of the endurance, you suddenly have to think about everyone else. That, and the guilt that comes with ‘failing’. It was an event organised for me after all. It is not the first time we have tried and failed to go, but hopefully it will be the last.
So we can add it to the pile of failed expeditions. OK, so it is not quite surviving in the Antarctic for 3 years, 100 years ago. But I am confident I will make it there one day, and I will paint those pots and the world will be right again. I’ll return a hero, just like Shackleton… Ah, thats right after his ordeal, he sent word home of his rescue, only to find out that World War 1 had just started and no one was interested in him.
*I’m doing exactly that.
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