Mornings are for coffee and contemplation. Coffee and contemplation, good sirs.
2017 has been wild in so many ways, but it also opened up my eyes once again to the concept of failure. I used to be so ashamed of failing at something and it never occurred to me to be open about what I sucked at doing.
It also doesn’t help that we’re often inundated with content about our peers excelling, thriving and breaking boundaries. I used to feel overwhelming pressure to create something *incredible*.
I don’t know what shifted but this year, I stopped viewing my “failures” as shameful memories. It helped shaped my life course, after all.
In 2010, I dropped out of my first year because I didn’t get into my desired course for second year. I had been wanting this since I was 16 years old and not making my Big Dream happen was overwhelming. You see, I had always been an excellent student and this failure rattled me to the core.
I spent a year working a few different jobs, from retail to a short stint at a tattoo shop. I met so many people (who I’m still friends with) and had a moment to pull myself swiftly towards myself.
I then decided to go back to Rhodes. This decision got mixed reactions from other people. I was told to get a grip, apply to other universities and that I needed to keep my options open.
I’ve never dealt well with people giving me advice I didn’t actually ask for.
And so I went back, got two bursaries and eventually got my degree. I did stumble along the way there though. I’m pretty candid about finding things tough, especially in the academic space.
When the time came to graduate, I knew I wasn’t going to attend and I decided I would celebrate it on my own terms. I went to collect my parchment and spent a week saying goodbye to my friends.
In the failures I’ve dealt with since, I’ve known I could come back from it. It may take time, but I didn’t see it as this earth-shattering thing anymore.
A friend once called me fearless because I tend to dive headfirst into anything I want, shame. Failure taught me how to do that.
And this year has kept showing me that I can be ambitious but to be grateful for smaller moments. Being able to survive a tough year isn’t just about accolades or achievements. I know that now.
So contemplation over, the real highlight of 2017?
Every single time that I got out of bed even when I didn’t ever want to.