Sunday, December 1, 2013

Failure to Fail

Since today is my "first" official day of blogging (outside of my random moments of inspiration over the past several years) without a pre-determined topic assigned by WEGO Health, it stands to reason that I feel a small morsel of trepidation as I boldly go where I have never gone before.  But really, what have I to fear?  I'm not losing money by blogging on a free website.  I'm not going to be hauled off by secret police for my beliefs. So where is the risk that would cause me any fear?

It's actually right inside of me; my fear is the fear of failure.
 
That being said, I'm going to take a look at my life if it were "failure free." Where would I be today if I failed to ever fail?
 
Probably my first sense of failure, although I had undoubtedly failed many times before it, came from my ACT score.  I was going to graduate from high school with a 4.0 GPA...that was a straight A average at the time (I believe it is no longer the same).  When my ACT score came back I  scored in the low 20's; I could not mask my disappointment.  I knew that I was a hard worker, not necessarily just a "smart" kid, but I didn't imagine that I would score so low on a test that would ultimately determine my acceptance into a variety of colleges. 

Of course I mentally beat myself up, and believed myself to be quite a failure when I received my score.  I applied to "safe" schools which I figured would still "accept" me despite my low ACT score.  What if I hadn't done that?  Where would I be today?  I met some of my closest friends in undergraduate school.  I'm still, twenty years later, close to my roommates, and my "floor mates" and even the glorious friends who accepted me "on-campus" despite my living "off campus" at the residential college residence hall.  But, what was the biggest thing about where I went to school for my undergrad?  I met my husband there.  Oh, sure, we didn't date seriously there; he was a few years older, and he graduated soon after we met, but God had a plan.  What if I wouldn't have "failed" at my ACT?  Where would I have met Jeff?

Again, I fell victim to the dreaded standardized test when I took the GRE to go on to graduate school after completing my undergraduate degree.  I graduated from college with a 3.8 GPA, but my GRE scores were quite low.  Still I applied to three schools for graduate studies.  I was rejected by two of them and the third accepted me.  I would be moving to Milwaukee, WI. I didn't know anyone in Milwaukee, and it would be several hours to drive from my family, but I trusted that God had a plan.  When I ran into my "future husband" at a wedding for mutual friends I explained to him that I'd be in Milwaukee soon~and wasn't that close to Madison where he lived?  He explained to me that he had just moved to Milwaukee himself a few months before.  Hmmmm....God had a plan.  Where would I be right now if I had been accepted to the U of M in Minnesota, or to Chapel Hill in North Carolina?  What if I hadn't failed?
 
Old School Photo from a Badger Football game!
I could write about jobs that I applied for and didn't get.  I could write about jobs that I accepted; jobs where I never did quite as well as I'd hoped.  Doesn't everyone have a story of failure?  Yes, everyone does.  But, does everyone look at what would have happened had she NOT failed?  What would she have missed?  What would I have missed?

So, here I am, 38; finally trying my hand at writing...REALLY writing, daily writing, scheduled time to commit to my writing (just like a job, right?).  What can it hurt?  Could I fail?  Sure.  But, failure has led me to great things in my past. 

God has a plan.  He always has a plan.  My failures could very well be God's bragging rites.  He might have my ACT and GRE scores hanging on his fridge in Heaven saying, "Look at that...just like I knew she could do.  It got her EXACTLY where I meant for her to be."

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