With everything going on on social media right now, I suppose I join the bandwagon of ‘cheesy recaps of 2016’.
Yeah, I’m a generally optimistic person. If you were to ask me how my 2016 was, I’d say it was incredible. And it truly was-but not all the time.
I started 2016 a bit sad. I’d just found out I had to retake one of the papers I wrote in a professional exam the previous year-2015 because I didn’t meet the cut off mark. I originally didn’t know how to feel because I had never failed in my life-literally. I’d never flunked a test, or an exam before since probably kindergarten, so it was a new concept for me. But as the days and weeks passed, it started to sink in, and boy did it suck.
At first I consoled myself with the popular, “pfft, almost everyone failed!” excuse and “the examiner was just out to get us”. Then I went on with the, “at least i tried” excuse, after all, it was JUST one paper, others failed all. And for a while, that kept me sane. But the truth was, not everyone failed, and as my parents would say “the ones that passed, did they have 2 heads?”. And then reality struck me. While the others were moving on to the next stage of the exam, I had to resit that dreaded paper, that one paper out of the four I had written before. I had to go for the same lessons I took the previous year and meet the same teacher and the same books. I had to do everything all over again :(.
But, then, one day one of my lecturers said something that touched me. You can come up with a 1001 genuine reasons why you failed. I mean, like come up with the most convincing and honest excuses for your failure, but the truth remains that in the end, its still YOUR fault and you have to take responsibility for it. Only then will you be able to move forward. And for a moment, I could swear he was talking to me. It wasn’t until I admitted the fact that I’m the only one responsible for the successes or failures in my life that i was able to feel like myself again. I determined in my heart that I never wanted to feel the yucky feeling of failure ever again. And so rewrote the exam in March and passed.
The next stage of the exam was particularly challenging. On the day of the exam, I fell sick, like really sick and I wondered if at all i was going to be able to hold a pen let alone remember what i read and write it down. But I thank God for his grace that is more that sufficient. I literally went into the exam hall straight from the hospital after receiving like 4 injections. But to the glory of God, today, have my certification for the exam.
My point from all this is, you have the power to shape your world to what you want it to be. Don’t let your past failures limit you from achieving whatever you want. Failure doesn’t define you, rather you determine to make it a stepping stone to greatness. This new year, I urge you to set goals, reasonable goals, and don’t be afraid to achieve them. It’s a fact that challenges will come, but what makes a person great is the way he chooses to act in those circumstances.
And then finally, there is a God factor in everything. Many people don’t believe in the existence of God, but I do. I do because my life alone is a testimony. I cannot take credit for the achievements I have in life because to be honest, I don’t deserve most of them. But God still, in His infinite mercy and love showers us with blessings beyond our wildest imaginations, but only if we ask.
I end with this quote by Sarah Ban Breathnach
Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year by believing. Believe in yourself. And believe that there is a loving Source – a Sower of Dreams- just waiting to be asked to help you make your dreams come true.
Happy New year,
XOXO JESS :))