Though I do not remember much of my childhood, I remember that it was quiet and tranquil. A child’s mind is limited to their environment, and I was blessed to live in a wealthy, clean, and safe community. One could say my life was perfect. My family had money, we would go on regular vacations across the world, and I do not recall significant hardships of my past. Of course, there were expectations of me in music and school, but those expectations were easy to meet. I found school effortless and straightforward, and music was frustrating yet enjoyable. I\knew I was talented, and I was proud of my capabilities.
Money allowed me to have the assets that others would not normally have. I participated in numerous extracurriculars, and this allowed me to have a flawless resume and for every application I wrote, whether it was school, a job, or a specific organization/activity, I had never faced rejection. I never worried about university tuition fees, for I already had the money to spare for it.
Despite this, I tried not to take my luxuries for granted. I had many friends who I believed were more talented than me, and yet they could not afford to pursue their gifts and talents. This fact broke my heart, but what could I do? I silently watched my friends try and persevere through life in defiance of their circumstances.
But I moved on with my own life. Their predicament was none of my business.
After junior high, I discovered that I would not be attending my designated public high school anymore. I was incredibly frustrated, as I had moved schools twice prior to this move, and to a child, moving schools is equivalent to restarting your life.
The car ride was grueling, and the interview was probably the longest hour and a half of my life. I did not put immense effort to be accepted, I just stated the obvious and my specific skills and talents; so I was shocked for the two staff members to immediately ask me to come join the Foundations For the Future Charter Academy. I was unable to respond and we decided to make decisions later.
Summer blew like the wind, and it had vanished before I could even take a second glance back at my old life. New supplies, new uniform, new school, new me.
Surprisingly, school was fun. I made new friends quickly, and the teachers here genuinely seemed to care about their students emotionally and academically. Unfortunately, public school did not teach me the prerequisite skills in order to ensure my survival in a new charter school.
My grades dropped faster than ever. Going from a high 90’s student to a low 70’s took an immense toll on my mental state. It was shocking; I did not understand how it was possible for me to be such an underachiever (in my standards and in comparison to how I did beforehand), and and the constant encumbrances of school became too much to bear.
This is when I began to understand the significance of failure.
Failure was such an unfamiliar experience, I was unsure of how to process and handle it. I did not have many hardships and adversities prior to high school. I was so used to the feeling of success, I was always the person who helped those that were unsuccessful or vulnerable, and now, being in this situation all alone was unbearable.
Failure is a difficult experience that can diminish self-confidence and distort the ability to have faith in one’s specific skills and talents. It is a robust force that is unpleasant to encounter, it extinguishes the flame of determination and motivation and leaves an empty void of sorrow and hopelessness. It left me susceptible and defenseless to the unknown and the realm of unfamiliarity. It had left me drowning in an ocean of melancholy.
What I fell short of understanding is that failure is essential to achieving greater success. I believe that failure is inevitable, but I have learned to embrace it and use it as a powerful advantage in order to plow through intimidating obstacles that are unknowingly placed on the road to the future. If failure was not experienced, then the true significance and meaning of success would be lost, the satisfaction and pride would be forgotten.