Celebrating Failures

Yesterday was such a long day at work. My team has been working on a major survey, set to launch next week. After work, I planned to work a little bit on my garden. The chili seedlings need to be moved into bigger pots as they already grow big. I was just stretching myself and then ready for gardening when an email came. It was from the Ireland Scholarship. I haven’t opened it yet, but tears welled up. I was kind of shocked because the announcement came a month earlier, and my emotional state was not ready yet. Also, I realize my chance of getting a scholarship is slim.

I have failed. Again. This becomes my 16th attempt since I started pursuing scholarship opportunities in 2018, and might be the last one. Looking back at my relentless efforts over the past six years, I have been contemplating a lot recently. Should I try again? Or stop and move on? Deep inside, I still want to try it. The thinking of "not giving my best" haunts me, and I just don't want to feel regret in the future. Another side of me wants to stop because 16 times in 6 years is a lot. Each application demands much energy, time, and money. It was draining, indeed, especially when the submission deadlines overlapped for some of them.

My favorite singer once said,

“You learn nothing from success. Nothing. You learn everything from the failures. And this is the thing that annoys me about the state that the world is in at the moment. Is no one talks about failure anymore. It’s like shame. Like, failure is shame. It’s like, ‘Oh, let’s just bury that and not talk about.’ No one goes, ‘Oh, what do we learn from this?’ Whereas with success, everyone shouts about it. But there’s nothing in success. Success happens from failing hundreds of times. It doesn’t just happen overnight. You have to be rubbish, and you have to have people laugh at you, and you have to have people go, ‘Oh, go on. Get a real job. This isn’t really going to work.’ You have to. And you just have to have belief that eventually it is going to get better.”

I found this post on LinkedIn and it hit me quite hard because this is exactly how I feel right now. Facing failures, brokenhearted, extremely sad.

As Ed said, what do I learn from this? To be honest, I’m still processing and not sure about what I learned from this journey. But, I think I learned and grew a lot. For example, I would never, ever, imagine in my life that I achieved 8 in IELTS speaking. Speaking! In general, I could feel my English skills become better, although I realize my writing skills, especially the academic ones, need to improve.

Second, I learned that perhaps this, simply, isn’t my path. My best friend said that there are various opportunities out there if we want to improve our capacity, not limited to master's programs or academic degree pathways. His advice is realistic but imagining myself going through that long process of preparing applications again, makes me tired already. I think I'm done :')

For now, I will take a moment to celebrate my failures and resilience. I try to manifest in what Ed Sheeran said that eventually it is going to get better. I hope so, too.


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