The importance of failure and defeat.


This post is more so a reminder to myself rather than a public service announcement. Please excuse any typos as I wrote this in the notes of my iPhone after a mild breakdown where I decided I needed to do some serious soul searching. This relates closely to my last post. If you didn’t read that one, check it out, fool.

Sometimes life and love will drag you down to extreme failure and defeat. It’s how we shine through, how we grow from these failures and defeats that make and mold us into the person we are truly destined to be. We have all been there. Felt absolutely and completely defeated. Like there was no way of picking up the pieces and starting over again. Whether it was from work, a relationship or school, we have all been there. But miraculously and by the will of God we made it through, and now we have the stories and scars to show for it.

I once, as a naive, wise-ass, little girl, asked my older sister what the point of practicing was if practice makes perfect but nobody’s perfect. She answered so perfectly that to this day I won’t forget her response: “nobody is perfect” she said, “but you can practice and be perfect at one thing, so it’s always worth practicing.” And just like that. Life made absolute, perfect, sense.

I’ve noticed that the worst times in my life where I have felt absolutely and completely defeated are what shaped and molded me into the woman I am today. I am proud to say that I have known defeat and failure in every single aspect of life. Personally, professionally, in school, in relationships and in friendships. Every single failure and defeat in all these aspects has always been a blessing in disguise. It showed me how absolutely strong and how much of a true warrior I am. I needed this reminder more than ever the past few days. And so I am sharing this in hopes that if someone is down in the dumps this can be a reminder to them as well.

There have been so many times where I wanted to give up but something inside of me would switch on. Something like survival mode I would say. I would remember that I have something to prove. Not to anyone else, to myself. I always have to prove to myself that I can pick up and start over again or else I will have a true mental breakdown. I think those of us who have experienced the worst times are the strongest and most beautiful (wait, did I just call myself beautiful? Yea. I did #yolo). It’s always good to reflect and remember where we came from and how much we have endured to be where we are today. Even when defeat is facing us head-on we can always find a way to overcome it. Every time I want to throw my hands in the air and call it quits at work I remember the all-nighters, the acne breakouts from stress and the emotional breakdowns and remind myself to keep pushing, that I did not do all that in vain.

Story time. The fall semester of my sophomore year of college is one of my most vivid memories of failure and a story I always reflect back on. As an honor student in high school I thought I had my shit all figured out. Going into my second year of college with a 3.7 GPA I thought I was absolute hot shit. Wrong. I was not. I took an extreme course overload, a new part-time job that took up all my free time, a booming (irrelevant) social life and I was barely able to keep my grades from slipping.

Then there was my epic downfall. The most awful class: Statistics for Business. A requirement I had to take that would get me into my beloved business school, a (naive) goal of mine in undergrad. As I took my final for this class on that cold December day I knew I had two options. Take a D for the course and not be able to replace it, only average it (a ridiculous Rutgers policy) or ask the professor to give me an F and retake the course to replace that grade. My first F of my life and I asked for it. I asked my professor to give me an F. I asked for failure. After that semester I pleaded with one of the academic deans to wipe that whole semester off my transcript. I rambled on about how I was in mental and emotional distress and that I needed a redo. He told me there were no redo’s in life and at the rate I was going I wouldn’t make it into business school. He was right. And that was the absolute best advice and decision I had made, I kept that F, had a W and a C in other courses (as well as an A and a B+, there was still a little genius nerd inside me somewhere).

That spring I decided business school was not going to be for me, I just literally could not keep up with all the naturally, statistically and mathematically inclined students. I switched my major to  something I was passionate about. Technology. Ever since I was in middle school I would use HTML to make corny websites with glittery images and quotes about love. I should have known after a Computers class I took freshman year that this was my true calling.I mean, how many people have seen me glued to my Blackberry/iPhone/Android, how many times have I rambled to my uninterested friends on the impact of social media and the importance of SEO?

That spring semester I redeemed my slipping GPA and retook the statistics course the following summer. During that summer I landed a dope IT internship at J&J and fought off a virus that had me miss two of the stats summer course sessions, I still managed to do much better than an F. It’s worth noting that I still had the other part time job too #hustler. That failure that defeat was the reason I changed majors, the reason I landed an awesome internship and the reason I learned I had to prove to myself, above anyone else, that I was a fighter. And a damn good fighter too. It took tears, stress, anger and angst to figure out that I would be so much stronger as a person, a student and a professional from just one bad semester in college.

I think to win a race we have to be in it. This means, don’t mentally check out when you think there’s no way through it. There is always a way through it. Because, like they say, if God brings you to it, He will surely bring you through it. This world is really freaking hard guys, if you want to get on top you have to fight like hell. Don’t give up. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, there always is.

Peace and love friends.

Anyway, whatever. Here’s a pic of me dancing in a sombrero.

Anyway, whatever. Here's a picture of me dancing in a sombrero.

Don’t forget to share on social media, follow this blog, take the silly poll, comment and like! Follow me on Instagram for a constant feed into my life: @Hodagram

Xx H

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