Monday, September 3, 2012

Failure is not an Option (Inspirational Monday)

There are two moments I can recall where I hit a wall in life. I recall them specifically because I was able to push through and persevere. These were moments where my life could have taken two very different paths.

It wasn't that I had a choice. It was that I was on a road to complete my chosen journey only to meet against resistance that threatened to push me off the track.

The first moment came in college. In the summer after my sophomore year, I received my first two failing grades. I saw my life coming off the rails. Would I flunk out? Would I have to move back in with my parents? Where was my life headed? I told myself "failure is not an option." I was the first in my family to go to a university. This was a moment of high anxiety, but I put my head down and pushed through. I didn't want to let my family down.

The second moment happened during my first year as a teacher. It was the spring of my first year and my classes were in a bad place. Students were disrespectful and I was having a terrible time setting limits in the classroom, mostly due to inexperience. I had made many professional friends, and every time I was with them I felt like a failure. I considered quitting, without knowing what would become of my life. I told myself "failure is not an option." I adjusted, I retooled and I pushed through. I didn't want to let my friends down. Now I have been teaching for over a decade.

For these two moments I had a lot to lose. My education, my career, my way of life. August was a difficult month for me as a writer. I have professional responsibilities as a teacher that absorb the vast majority of my time. Due to the demands of the job, writing just took a backseat. Now I see a wall in front of me. I have to push through, failure is not an option. I take inspiration from the idea that I will look back on this moment and see it as the third wall that I knocked down. I don't want to let myself down.

This month I will be looking to find a routine that will allow me to continue on this path. Have a great month!

Check out other inspirational posts: Jennifer at A Creative Exercise

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  1. You show failure who's boss.

    I have failed at a lot of things in life, but in my way of thinking, I'm not learning anything if I don't fall on my face every once in a while. I just never want to fail at the same thing twice.

    Thanks for the shout out :)

    And good luck teaching. I know it's not easy, and you have my respect. I could never do it.

    1. I agree that failure is a normal part of living life. I can't think of a better way to learn than to use your failure as a lesson that leads to changes to alleviate said failure. And that's what happened.

  2. Hey Von! The great thing about writing is it's always there. If you can squeeze it in for 15 minutes a day, then yay! If you have to take a break and come back to it a year later, then yay! Writing is not an all or nothing game. It's a lifelong companion and like a good friend, you can be apart for a long time and when you finally visit each other again, it will feel just like old times. Not trying to discourage you, just want you to know that breaks are okay. It's coming back that's important.

    1. I like how you phrased that. Writing will always be there. It's nice to know that no matter what, you can always enter a world of your creation. It's very comforting.

  3. On Tvtropes we'd called you a 'real life example of Determinator' though nowadays it would have to go on Troper Tales.

    I considered the teacher route in college and decided against it, partly because of a fear of 'unruly students'. In an alternate universe, we could be co-workers! In this one I applaud your determination. The world can never have enough good teachers.

    Good luck striking a balance

    1. Thanks, Brian. I am always amazed by the students I meet. So many magnificent people doing magnificent things. It never ceases to amaze me.

  4. This is a fabulous post! I think having the attitude of "failure is not an option" is such a great one to have, and can get you through so much!


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