I once got a tattoo in Arabic. I was in my early twenties and the fear of misspelling or getting a completely different word from that intended in a language I'd never heard let alone spoken, was not a real fear for me.
So, I'm talking about this tattoo with a friend. Her computer is significantly older. I get the word, "freedom" off of google translate, & somewhere between moving the word onto a document so I could print it & get it to a tattoo shop, something went wrong.
For nearly two weeks, I had "divorce" tattooed on me (it's also a delightful irony that the difference between divorce and freedom in Arabic is one character). But I eventually realized something was wrong & got it fixed.
My first year in law school, I failed my first exam. & if you've never been to law school, the traditional experience is that you get one exam in each class per semester. So this was a big fucking deal. On top of that, my other scores weren't exactly home runs, either (see, baseball simile still in effect!). So, it was suggested by one of my school's deans that I drop out. Having once spent a weekend in jail, I hope you'll understand the gravity of the following statement: this was the shittiest feeling, ever.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, I didn't pass my bar exam.
You know that 15 hour, 3 day exam waiting for everyone at the end of law school? The test that determines whether you'll be an attorney or just a law grad for at least another 6 months? Yeah, that fucking test. I failed it.
& having spent three months studying for it & another three months waiting for results, I'm going to go ahead and say that this was a crushing disappointment. & I'm not going to dress it up as something it's not because it does suck. But it's not the worst thing to happen to me & it's not the worse thing that will ever happen. It's just a shitty thing that happened & a shitty thing I have to move forward from.
Sometimes it feels so awful to admit to myself that it happened. It's crazy to see my friends go from being clerks to attorneys & celebrate. I feel like I disappointed them. I feel like they're afraid to be proud of themselves because they don't want to remind me that I didn't make it. But I'm so proud of them and happy for them & excited that they can actually start their careers now.
& so, I guess I'll keep being the kind of person who strikes out but the cool thing is, a victory is always that much sweeter when the victor comes up from behind. It's a better story. Everyone loves an underdog.