Rambling about: Failure

Having so many doors being slammed in my face one after the other hurts. I don’t like not being good at things or not being good enough for things. I’ve always been good at school. I’ve always been a leader. I’ve always stood out from the crowd, worked hard, and got everything that I wanted and deserved but right now I’m not doing any of these things, at least not where graduate school is concerned. And I feel terrible!

Despite growing more and more certain by the day – hell, minute – that I want to change master’s programs to the thesis track, I still went on a couple of interviews for internships in the past month for the clinical track that I’m currently on. I really should have put in a lot more applications and gone on a lot more interviews but I didn’t, much to the chagrin of the clinical director of my program. I kind of convinced myself that if this was meant to be, I’d get accepted by one of the two places at which I’d interviewed. If I got a placement I’d stay in my current program, if I didn’t then that was my sign to make the change. I was hoping and praying that something would come through because I guess I’m still not fully comfortable with quitting something this big. As of this past Wednesday, I got my answer: I’m making the switch.

While it would be extremely easy to feel like a failure – because this is yet another instance in a long line of letdowns as of late – I find solace in the fact that I didn’t actually fail. But wait, you didn’t get either of the internships! I know, however for me to consider this a failure, I would’ve needed to have given my all, put my very best foot forward, and believed that I was the best fit for what these agencies were looking for and they’d be making a mistake not to hire me; but I didn’t. For both interviews, I made the minimal effort to prepare, I didn’t stress myself out about trying to appear perfect, and nail every question. I even ran into one of my classmates as she was leaving her interview and said in my head,

She’d be so good for this position! I want her to get this position. I’d be to happy for her to land this; she’s exactly what they’re looking for.

I knew these people didn’t want me as an intern and I knew I didn’t want to be their intern; that’d be a disservice to the very real and necessary work that they do to treat individuals with mental illnesses and substance abuse issues.

See, that same voice in my head has been telling me for a long time now that I really didn’t want to go this route. At first, it looked simple enough. It looked doable. I convinced myself that while I may not be the best counselor I could do this job. Except as time went by I saw more and more reasons why I should rethink my decision. I even convinced myself that I could just get this degree now and then after I graduate, do something else. Possibly something still in the mental health field but not full-time counseling, I wouldn’t even worry about getting licensed. The same small voice kept trying to steer my attention to the research side of the mental health field. Despite my lifelong love/hate relationship with writing, I think that writing a thesis and conducting research would be something I would enjoy and do well at. A master’s in psychology would allow me to complete a thesis and open a lot of doors for me career-wise, and I love having options! (I also wouldn’t feel the guilt of playing counselor with real people’s lives; NOT OKAY.)

So what is the point I’m trying to make here? Eh, I’m not entirely sure. I guess all of this taught me to redefine failure. I’ve been trying so hard to shake the feeling that I failed at getting an internship because I wasn’t good enough when, in all honesty, I failed because I didn’t give a rat’s ass about giving it my best or having a good outcome. I was just going through the motions. Going from so many successes in my past to the “failures” of my present is difficult. The sting is there regardless but this has been a big painful lesson in following your heart and going where you’re led. I just hate how I have to keep teaching myself such time-consuming and expensive lessons…

Hope this helps somebody!

2 thoughts on “Rambling about: Failure

  1. I came across your blog via a pin about bullet journaling. I just wanted to tell you that I understand where you are. I have a crazy long story about failure myself. I’m 32 years old and a mom to 3 wonderful kiddos. My husband was diagnosed with ESRD five years ago and it turned our lives upside down. Due to the disease, I can’t be a stay at home mom forever as originally planned. Doing some soul searching, four years ago, I decided to go back to school to be a nurse. The plan was school=RN, kidney transplant for hubs, life goes back to being semi normal. But, in the middle of clinicals and lectures and just LIFE, I realized I was not happy. I dreaded graduating. I couldn’t see myself doing this for the rest of my life. I took a semester break thinking maybe I was just overwhelmed with all my responsibilities, and tried again. With failure riding on my back once again. I have always been a 4.0 successful student at the top of my class. But, this was something I could study for hundreds of hours and still fail an exam. I was devastated and just LOST. This spring, after failing once again this past fall, I decided to just finish my Associate in Science and think about what I wanted to be. I discovered something I knew had always existed, but somehow I had forgotten that I wanted it. A teacher. So, now, I’m happy and feel like I’m on the right track. A lot of money and time has been wasted, but I feel a lot more confident in my future.

    • Lisa, I’m glad somebody can relate and I’m happy that despite everything, you were able to figure out what you’d love to do as well. Thanks for reading, commenting, and all the best to you and your family.

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