Amusingly, my parents always were able to put a positive spin on my many failures. There was the short IT contract I took in 1995, after failing to apply for university. When people asked what I was doing with myself, my dad would simply say, “He’s in Cambridge,” and leave them to imagine I was a fine scholar.
Eight years later, when asked the same question, he’d say, “He’s working in Mayfair,” as if to suggest I was an upcoming investment banker now. Only, I was in fact managing a cafe on Dover Street, merely serving investment bankers. But never mind.
Of course, the reality is, I was a big disappointment. Nothing seemed to work. I was a walking disaster. It took me a long time to find my feet. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything that required a degree, but I had to take what I could because I didn’t have the confidence to pursue dreams.
Now it’s my wife who puts the positive spin on everything, God bless her. Where would we be without a Turkish woman, forever reminding her companion that everything’s really not that bad?