I saw this post on Tumblr, and it got me thinking. If you stop and mulled over what you’d do and what you’ll become if failure is impossible, the possibilities are endless! Let’s you and I travel back to my history of “failures” shall we? Just for fun. 😉
Now, what would I do if I had gotten that First Honor spot in kindergarten, instead of being second? I’d wager I’d still do what a five-year old me had done afterwards. I know nothing about academic honor then, only that it pleases my parents to no end. I still felt their pride for me when I went up that stage to receive my medal, so I guess being second does not make much difference to anyone back then – I was still known as a good student.
Six years later and you’d see me climb up the stage again to receive my Salutatorian honor medals. You see, my years spent in grade school was a constant battle for that first spot, and always ending up second-best. And you ask: What would I have done if I got that valedictory honor? With the wisdom of a 12-year old girl, I’d say I’d take advantage of that full scholarship that they offered in a private school in town. But then I’d have to study in a campus far from home, and I wouldn’t have met my crazy high school friends that I’m still in touch with til now. There might be other friends, but I have a feeling they’re not as good as the ones I’ve got. Why? Because getting that salutatorian spot humbled me. If I had not failed, I’d grow into a teenager with more pride that I’m supposed to have, being friendly with birds of the same feather. For my sake, I’m glad to land that second honor. 🙂
My high school Alma Mater, a public school, is as dear to me as an old home should be. It was there where I learned three things: resourcefulness, humility and patience. It has prepared me as best it could for the coming years, when I was not sure where and if I’m ever going to college. That’s one part of my circumstances that I won’t have to ask myself our main question – because I passed my university entrance exam without a hitch! 😛
College was supposed to be an easy ride. I only have to get good grades then graduate. That was my only goal when I entered my first class as a freshman. Along the way, I had a glimpse of a chance on a success I never dared to dream about. I clung on that chance and erected a higher goal. Unfortunately, a glitch in my freshman Sociology class came back to bite me in the butt. My GPA was just right there, and I was pulled down by a technicality. It was no one’s fault but mine. No matter that the ‘fault’ was done when I was going leisurely on my way to that first and only goal. That failure taught me to be bold and set my sights high, always high, because you’ll never know what opportunities might come and give you that higher knot in the rope you’re clinging to.
Again, what would I do if I had not failed to achieve that sweet Cum Laude title? I don’t know, really. I know what I’d feel, but I’m not sure what I’d do differently. I learned soon after graduating that the real world does not give as much big a deal to titles as they do to YOU and how you’ll carry yourself in front of people you want to impress, not to mention handling that job you’re aspiring for. The title might give me enough confidence to breeze through a few interviews, but who’s to know if confidence will make me pass through it successfully? For all we know, I might have still landed the same job I have today, but without learning the things I did when I failed to graduate with honors. I could live without the title, but not without the lessons I learned through failure.
There’s so much more that has happened, and I don’t have to tell you that everyday is still a battle for success – it always is. I have my goals, more adult ones and more painful if I failed. That’s why when I saw the text photo, the first thing that came to mind is “Oh gosh, if only that’s possible!”. I am as scared of failing as the next person, but when I go back and think of how much I learned and gained because success has been elusive, I can’t really say I have failed. It is an encouraging thought, and I cling to it when worse comes to worst. I raised my self to optimism, though, so I seldom reflect on not succeeding until after the fact.
Now, if from now on, I am cognizant to the fact that everything I do is a sure success…that’s a scary thought, but worth another blog post. I’ll sleep on it and write about my thoughts soon!
How about you? What would you do?