I know about failure. I think I may know too much about it sometimes. However, I know about getting up and going again! Whether I was forced or not I can’t say, but I would always get up and go again. Somewhere in me was the drive to do it still. It may seem contrary because I struggled with consistency, yet there was always a nagging in me to be what I knew I could be. One of the major sections of my life that was entangled in failure was getting my degree.
TRYING & FAILING
I spent 7 years trying to complete a 3 year degree. I saw people come in and go out and I was still there struggling. Those who graduated when I was supposed to were doing Masters degrees and Specialisations and all that jazz. Sometimes I couldn’t stand to see their progress and sometimes I would sit and stare at social media posts, wishing it was my life. Some got married, some migrated, but all MOVED ON. They were living and I felt like I was stuck. In fact, I was. I was stuck in a routine that wasn’t working.
Teaching people how to set goals can make you a lot of money these days – self development is HUGE now. Yet there is a step that some leave out and that’s taking a look at where you are before walking towards where you want to go. I knew all about studying and everything else that was needed for me to succeed but I wasn’t taking account of where I was at that time. I wasn’t sitting with myself and realising that I was a broken record, doing the same broken things that just weren’t working. Of course I knew it but I was totally dishonest with myself. I was never willing to accept my brokenness or face my cracked behaviour. The truth is, it ‘s difficult to do that. No one likes to accept their own faults or accept wrong – it has to be a psychological thing, jeez! Yet it keeps us in a downward spiral or just walking around in circles wishing life was better, or we had more money, or we had a better relationship, or we had the life we see others living so happily.
THE BOOT IN MY TAIL
It is only until we change direction that we come out of the circle game. I had to sit and realise that it just wasn’t working for me. I couldn’t keep doing the same thing for years and getting the same results. In this instance, it was the simple practical DECISION to change what I was studying. SIMPLE. It was my last chance, literally. In my Dean’s office, he watched me straight in my eyes and told me that this was my last chance – if I failed, I would be kicked out of school. I could not handle that. I could not handle that level of regret for the rest of my life. So I mustered all the courage I had to go back but this time I went back with a new course, praying that this new course brought success. It did. Again, it wasn’t easy; it never is. It’s never easy to get up and go again. It’s human nature to feel some semblance of guilt, shame, discomfort, fatigue, hurt, pain or anguish. Don’t let anyone fool you. However, what is the alternative? lifelong regret? constantly envying those that got up while you stayed down? It’s not worth it, believe me.
So I got up with all those feelings, swallowed them DAILY and went another year through school. At the end, I finally graduated with my Degree. I finally won! It took gusto. It took a daily getting up, putting one foot in front of the other and going into, what I thought was, the abyss of school. I had to take MASSIVE action to hold my head up, dig my heels down and do this. It was when I made the decision, changed position and swallowed those feelings that I achieved my goal.
That was a 7-year lesson of dusting myself off. It’s a lesson that I hold on to this day. My husband, Kyle, always tells me that I’m stronger than I think and refers me to that time of my life whenever I feel weak or slain. It’s also something I share with others when they fail exams. I tell them the same thing I’m telling you – keep going. Strap on your boots one more time and get at it. Even if you have to strap them on 7 times, do it! It is worth it in the end. Crossing that stage to get my degree was an indescribable feeling. When you cross the stage of your completion, you will hold that feeling dear to your heart for the rest of your life.