“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

by graceelena on December 6, 2013

No one wants to write about failing the bar exam. This is supposed to be a photo of my name and the words “this name appears on the pass list.” It is supposed to be a long list of thanks. It is supposed to be a video of me crying and laughing as I see the results. It is supposed to be a post about celebration.

This is supposed to be the opposite of what I am about to write.

I failed.

I was surrounded by friends and champagne. Everyone was talking as I typed in the numbers. A screen with red letters appeared. Did I enter them wrong? Sometimes people enter the numbers wrong. I tried again. And again. And again. Finally I spoke the words, “I didn’t pass.”

There was a litany of “what?” “No.” “Are you sure?” For a moment we all stood there. No one knew what to do. Finally a dear friend said, “Well, I have some surprises for you anyway. Please stand over here on the stairs.”

I stood on the stairs. I knew what was going to happen. I couldn’t stop smiling as hundreds of balloons began to gently fall around me. Then I was almost knocked over by a man in a speedo. Another sweet friend. He had flown in from California. He hugged me tightly and told me he loved me. He told me that it didn’t matter that I didn’t pass. He told me he was exactly where he wanted to be.

In that moment on the stairs, with balloons, friends, and champagne, I realized that I was exactly where I wanted to be too.

Failure is never easy but it is difficult to feel sorry for yourself when your friends make you a balloon drop.

We spent the rest of the night and weekend laughing, playing, and dancing. Tears were shed only twice. Once that night after reading the most touching and heartwarming comments on facebook and again the next morning lamenting it all.

It has been two weeks since that day. The results still make me a little sad but each day I grow a bit stronger and more confident. When I announced my failure on facebook I wrote, “Someone had to fail and I think I am an ideal candidate because nothing can bring me down.” I stand by that. Have I doubted myself these last two weeks? Absolutely. I have asked more than a few friends if they think I am smart. Not something I am proud to admit. But more than anything I have moments of frustration that I must do it all again—that my dream is on hold.

Then I get annoyed with myself for thinking like that because as I have said over and over again in this blog, I am living a blessed life. My ability to go to college and then law school is a blessing. It is something I have achieved through hard work but mostly through the unconditional support of my family, teachers, and friends who have fought for me, encouraged me, and held me up during my weakest moments.

Without them I wouldn’t be here. Without them I would not be able to get through another exam. I have three more months of studying, a three day exam, and three months of waiting left before I can say I am an attorney. It is no longer “if” but “when” because no matter what happens or how many times, I will be surrounded by balloons, champagne, friends, and family and we will laugh, play, and dance the entire way.

Thank you all for following me and supporting me on this journey. The best is yet to come.