Failure Pt. II

Abhi Nayar
7 min readApr 19, 2018

It’s 1 year since the last failure post. Linking it here for myself:

Well, here we are a year later. And it’s funny — I’m in the exact same situation. I just smoked a cigar and single handedly finished off 5 beers and am nursing the 6th.

What’s happened since then?

Well, I’m on the 4th floor of YEI instead of the basement of TD. But other than that — not much. I’ve grown radically as a human. tonebase is now a real business, with revenue, passionate users and more. But to be quite frank — nothing has changed.

I’m still the confused, excited, easily frustrated, fucking stupid child that I was when Failure was written. So it’s entirely unremarkable that Failure Pt. II is any different.

What is different?

I guess the utter disillusionment. I guess I’ve just come to terms with the fact that the world is an unforgiving, brutal place. And that if you want to get ahead without hurting people, you really really need to work your ass off. And the core fact is, I think I’m a lazy fuck.

If anything I think this will be my core undoing. I’m not efficient. And I lack the motivation to make shit happen.

Take porn for example. I’ve never written publicly about this, but I’ve been addicted to porn for years now. In fact, I’m 99% sure porn destroyed my last relationship. But guess what? I haven’t done shit about it. Know why? Because it’s fucking hard. It’s fucking hard to fight your demons.

It’s fucking hard to stop yourself from doing all the wrong things. Because frankly, the wrong things are always easy. The wrong things come quick. I’m a fucking joke of a person. I know how to push people to be better, I really do, but to myself — I’m a weak ass individual with barely a backbone to stand on. But it’s worse because while I don’t have a backbone against myself, I do have one against other people. I’m the person that doesn’t take shit from anyone, and will literally fight people (for better or worse) to the death if they insult my pride. BUT at the same time, I destroy my own pride, and put myself down (with good reason) without any issue.

I don’t understand it. I guess I don’t understand myself. I don’t think I did when I wrote the last post and I don’t think I do now. Frankly part of me just wants to run away and figure it all out. Take a break from life. From my family, from my friends, from my work, from life. And come back somehow a new person.

But I also know, deep down, that if I don’t wrestle with my demons — tame them, understand them and overcome them, that I won’t matter for shit.

Interestingly, a lot of the stuff I write centers around mattering. Mattering beyond when I’m gone. I guess I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about this for a 21 year old. But fuck it — I am who I am.

The truth is I’m a mess. I’m an addict (to porn, there, I fucking admit it). I’m unspokenly needy. I’m easily hurt but always hide it. I don’t really know how to express my feelings so it usually comes out in anger. And most of all, I think I’m better than I am. Smarter than I am. More educated, wise and knowledgeable than I am. And this is fucking dangerous.

The truth is, the simple truth is — I don’t know shit.But I’m figuring it out. Slowly. Surely. But figuring it out all the same. I just need to drop this act and start being real with the people in my life, be it family, friends or anyone else.

For example, I just ran into a woman on the street who I like a lot and who I know likes me as well. But I didn’t ask her for shit. Not to go get a drink (which she was down for), to go get some hookah, or anything of the like. To put it simply, I was a pussy (it’s a different story that I’ve never gotten this particular phrase but let’s just go with it).

But why am I a pussy? I think it comes down to a deep rooted sense of inadequacy. Something drilled into me from when I was a child. Nothing was ever good enough. And it’s incredible how your childhood fucks you up. I feel entirely inadequate as a person no matter what I accomplish.

It doesn’t help that most of my accomplishments are charades. I think if I actually worked, if I actually did what I say I did, I would be a pretty dope human. But instead I lie, I embellish, I make it sound like what I did was dope even though most of the things I’ve done till now are table stakes. Imposter syndrome is fucking real, especially for imposters.

But that all being said I do think my heart is in the right place. I do think I want to contribute something to this world. I just need to fucking figure out how to make it happen.

Continued April 18th, 2018

Life is just a motherfucking paradox. You feel like a failure for feeling like a failure. You feel like a loser for even having that thought, because clearly no one with mental fortitude or toughness thinks like this. Clearly most people are just confident in themselves all the time and if you’re anything less than that you’re an abject piece of shit.

The stories we tell ourselves about the way we ought to be seem to me to be some of the most dangerous and damaging stories ever told. I feel crippled by my own anxiety about myself and my future. So crippled that I have a hard time taking action. Neither will I do anything, or see anyone about it. Nor will I tell myself that it’s okay to feel sad and upset and frustrated sometimes.


I’ll just numb it by watching another episode of a show, reading another Medium article or jacking off to some fucked up porn. That’s literally what my life has become. One pathetic shell of a human who doesn’t know shit and pretends that he’s some big shot when in reality he’s nothing more than a fraud and an abject failure. A failure at actually learning. A failure at actually succeeding at anything.

So this whole thing about being worried about being a failure — it’s bullshit because I’m already there.

tonebase just failed to get a YC interview. I’m currently failing my algorithms class. This will most likely result in me failing to get a CS degree. This will most likely fail to make my parents super happy, graduating with just a BA in economics. This will most likely cause me to fail in the future endevours I want to take in the Valley. Or do I even want to do that?

Who fucking knows.

Basically I’ve spent a whole lot of time and money working on things that don’t matter while blowing off the people and things that do. While blowing off personal development. While blowing off understanding myself and not even attempting to find a decent understanding of myself.

My dad recently told me that the reason my brother was failing was because he approached problems with the idea that he already knew the solution,, that he was already equipped with the answer. This led to him not listening to those who tried to advise him and him making stupid mistakes on the exam he was writing.

How the fuck have I done anything differently? The only difference is the test he’s writing is for a math program whereas the one I’m writing is for my life. One’s failable. And it’s not mine.

Yet all I seem to be doing is failing. Like a pathetic little piece of shit. Then thinking that he’s hot shit and acting like he’s got something going for himself. Maybe it’s time to have a long hard look in the mirror. Long hard look to really see who the fuck you are and where the fuck you want to go. What the fuck you want to do. Why the fuck you’re doing it.

Because without understanding that, you’re not going anywhere. You are a failure now, but that only means there’s very little room left to go down. Any lower and you’re homeless. Go find some fucking morals, go find some fucking purpose, go find some fucking way that you can actually succeed and then come back and write garbage inspiration on any fucking platform.

Seriously, quit wasting your time. Get your fucking act together. And figure your life out man. You’re 21 and not a kid anymore, you don’t have the luxury of unlimited time to squander or failures to throw out there. Life’s going to dish out it’s fair share for the rest of your time here, why make that count higher than it needs to be?

Put your big boy shoes on, strap yourself in, and fucking figure shit out. At the end of the day you have no one to blame but you for where you’re at. For probably picking the wrong co-founders. For probably working on the wrong venture for a fucking year. For developing a tendency, no, a personality where you skeet by and think it’s fucking normal. A personality where you don’t put in motherfucking work. A personality where you get addicted to shit. A personality where you get super fucking low and then tell yourself you’re depressed or some other fucking garbage bullshit that we both know isn’t true.

So stop doing it. As simple as that. Stop being a weak piece of shit, stop being a fucking failure. And just fucking do. When you don’t know where to start — start by starting.

Start by motherfucking starting.

It’s 2018, you’re 21, you’re graduating — maybe, and you have something to prove. Figure out who you are. Take your time to do it. Figure out what you give a shit about. And go fucking make it happen. Or just lie down and let life grab you by the balls, squeel… and then fucking die.

That’s the alternative. It’s either now or never man. We’ll write the sequel to this next year in Pt. III and see where you are. If you’re lower than where you are now, you should probably just call it quits. I’m kidding — but I forbid you from sinking.


A past version of you you should try to never be again.