When you fall, do it gloriously.
Collapse like a glass building.
Sink like a gigantic ship.
And when you’re done sinking and collapsing
And sinking and collapsing,
Build yourself with your own wreckage.
One of the easiest things to say, but one of the hardest things to truly comprehend and internalize, is this notion that it doesn’t really matter how many times you fall down; it’s how many times you get back up. We’ve heard this all before. What we haven’t heard is how we should be falling. If you ask Noor Unnahar, our falls should be glorious. They should be epic. And then we should get up and do it all over again.
Absolutely, it can be incredibly empowering to approach life with unbridled optimism, the kind of positive mindset that will help you get through the most difficult of circumstances. You keep going at it, because you are confident that you will succeed in the end. Except, of course, success is never guaranteed. Indeed, more likely than not, you’re going to fail. And that’s okay. We all fail. And the path to success is paved with failure.
As Noor Unnahar says in her short poem above, “build yourself with your own wreckage.” It’s only when you break yourself apart that you can learn what you’re really made of. It’s only when you really put yourself out there and allow yourself to be vulnerable, allow yourself to be judged, that you have any real shot at “making it.” Whatever that means.
Aside from randomly stumbling across her poetry on Instagram, I don’t know all that much about Noor Unnahar. I can see that she’s a young lady from Pakistan, helping to define an entirely new vision for women in the region. She is finding her voice through poetry and through art, almost echoing a sentiment expressed by Malala Yousafzai that “the power of education frightens extremists.”
Be heard. Be seen. Leverage your knowledge and keep moving forward, even if you trip and fall a few times along the way.
Most recently, Noor Unnahar published a book of poetry titled Yesterday I Was the Moon, the “trailer” for which has been embedded below. Words can lift us up when we are down. Words can inspire a generation. And sometimes, words really are worth a thousand pictures. You just have to break them down and build them back up again.