Failure

Failure, we all face failure at some point in our lives. Some face it more than others but there is nothing to be ashamed about. Failure doesn’t mean it is the end of something as you can always pick it all up and try again. Sometimes you can fail in one way but succeed in a different way so, in the end, you have succeeded. One way may have worked out for one person, it does not mean that it has to work out the same way for you. We are different so the way you succeed can be different from someone else, there is no certain way you can succeed.

There are a few areas in my life where have failed. When I was going through it and I did fail, I felt like this is the end and there is no way to make it better. At the time, it feels like everything is over I will never get anywhere. But that is not the case. One area I had failed in was one of my exams during my first year of university. I had passed the other modules with a good grade, but there was one that I found very difficult and the results showed that I had not passed my exam. At the time I got the result, I was away from the country on holiday with my family so the timing was not great. I got very concerned thinking about what I was going to do.

What could I actually do about it? I needed to pass the module to move ahead to the next year. I didn’t have the best internet connection on holiday but I decided to have a look and see what I can do. I had 2 options, I could retake the exam one more time before the second year, or I could retake the whole module in my second year with my other modules.

I decided to go with the option of retaking my exam before the second year had started. After I was back from my holiday, I spent hours each day working through all the lectures that had been taught throughout the year. We had been provided past papers which I started using to help me get familiar with the style of questions that I could be presented with. The module was something to do with database management, where we had to write SQL statements. I always found coding quite difficult and writing it on paper made it even difficult as you need to remember the correct syntax. One syntax error and you can lose marks for the whole question.

Finally, the time came for me to take the exam again. I travelled back to my university and took the test. I felt like I had given it my best shot, so now I had to wait and see what the result was. After about a month of waiting, I got my result. I had passed the module and I was able to move ahead to the second year of my education.

The lesson, I learnt here was that I needed to try again especially as I was being given the option to try it. If I did not pass it the second time, I would have had to retake the whole module which would add a lot more pressure as it would have been extra lectures and work. But it was still possible to do and would have been the best thing to do. The other thing that I could have done is stopped my education there because I had failed one module. That would have been a failure, but there may have been a different route I would have taken to get to where I am today.

Another time I failed was with my driving test. I needed to plan for my future thus I need to pass my driving to drive to work and public transport may not be suitable. I was taking lessons whilst I was at university as I used to come home most weekends, so I booked my driving lessons to fit around it. They only took about a 1 hour to 2 hours per day each weekend so it was fine. I took many lessons and then my instructor told me to go ahead and book my test as she felt I was ready to take the test. Also, the tests have to be booked in advance as they are always booked.

I managed to book a date which was not too far away from the present date and I started preparing well for it during each of my lessons. When I had my last before my test, I felt fine and I felt confident in myself and I can do it. I need to do what I have learnt in my lessons and follow the instructions that I am given.

The test started fine, I was doing fine and I felt the same. As we started to progress to the busier roads and the larger roads, I started to get nervous and I started to make mistakes that I have never made in my lesson. I tried to correct them as quickly as possible, but it was not enough.

After the test had finished, I found out that I had failed the test due to one of the errors being quite bad. I felt very very upset that day. I went home and cried my eyes out. My parents told me that I can try again and I will pass but I felt like a failure as I had hoped that I would have passed and I wouldn’t need to take the test again. I didn’t do anything about it for a good few weeks. I didn’t want to take more lessons and I didn’t want to take the test again.

Some time passed and I managed to find a different instructor. As I already knew how to drive, he told me to book the test and we would be doing refresher lessons to prepare. When my test date arrived, I felt very nervous as I started to think about the previous test that I had failed. I tried to take it out of my head but it was quite difficult at the start. My instructor had taken me on many test routes that examiners use to test the drivers.

Luckily the test route that was chosen for me was one that I had practised with my instructor the day before. The route was a calm road which didn’t have too much traffic after the rush hour had passed. The drive was lovely, the examiner told me to stay calm and drive like I was taking a friend for a nice relaxing drive.

When we got back to the test centre, I was given my result. I had made a few small errors which they do not count towards failure but I had no serious errors. I had passed my test. I was so so happy, I couldn’t believe that I had done it. I had passed my driving test and I could drive my car. The lesson I learnt here was that I did fail the first time around, I did take more time to get back up again. I must have waited a couple of months before I got back behind the wheel. I got back to it once I had moved on from the failure and I felt I was ready to give it another go.

If I did give up after my first attempt, things would have been very different in my life. Who knows if I would have managed to complete my education, who knows if I would even have the job. I may have made it to the interview the one time with a taxi or a lift but I wouldn’t be able to use it every single day.

The paths I took above may be different from what someone else would have taken. For example, they may have taken their driving test again as soon as they failed the first time, or they may have taken the test at another point in their life. What matters is that they are doing something about it, and not thinking that this is the end of it all. Something can always be done in a situation. Sometimes the solutions may feel difficult or they may be out of your comfort zone. You need to take your time and have a think, there will be something which will help you out of the problem.

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I Miss You

I remember the day you said you couldn’t do this anymore as it was the same cycle going round and round for the past 3 years. Everyday we argue and it’s like that’s all we ever do anymore. 

I stood there on the cold, dark winters evening outside the house. Different cars were driving by. I looked at each one with tear-filled eyes, hoping one of them would be yours. The clouds started to break and rain drops started falling down on me. I frantically started searching for an umbrella in my black handbag. I’d left it at home in a hurry.  The rain started to get heavier, it staled through my hair and began to drip down my face. I looked at the time, hoping you could turn up any second.

I wanted to leave but something told me to stay, something inside me said “Stay a little longer, he will be here soon”. Just a few minutes, I waited this long, a little longer won’t hurt.  Droplets formed on my glasses, my vision was blurred. I took my glasses off to wipe them clean. With my not so perfect vision, i looked up and saw an average tall shape walking towards me. He must have been looking at me too. I tried to squint and see a face but it was pointless. My vision was not able to see the face clearly. 

My heart started to beat faster as he got close to me. He walked straight past me without even noticing me. It wasn’t him. Hours passed, the rain had come and gone. It was getting into the night now. 

I continued to wait, I missed him but I guess he didn’t.

Green Thumb

The concept of growing something is simple, you plant the seeds in a pot of soil, then water it each day. Keep it in sunlight and soon you will have a plant that is growing.

The time it takes for it to actually grow is where your patience is tested. There have been many times when I have planted some seeds in a pot and I have been checking the pot each day to see if something has happened or if something has grown. In most cases, something has grown within a week or so but there have been times when something has grown and I have thought that it is the seed that is growing. But after waiting a couple of weeks, I have found out that is wasn’t the seeds that had grown. It was actually some feed that had grown, usually because of the compost that I have used. There may have been some hints of a seed which have grown into the plant. That is the most horrible feeling ever as you have spent time watering and nurturing the plant thinking this you from the seed that you had planted. Sometimes the seeds do take longer to grow but by the time you have seen the weed grow you lose hope on the seed. The excitement of the seed growing is not the same after as you start to doubt the seed as you feel it could be another weed that is growing.

Once the disappointment of the weed has gone away, you will feel excited to see what the plant is actually going to look like. Especially if it’s a plant that produces flowers then that is even better. You may have a vague idea of what the flower will look like but you will want to see it with your own eyes. The flower growing is like the reward from the plant for the hard work you have done to help it to grow from the seed to a plant. Most plants look pretty normal when they are growing but when the flowers are produced that’s when you can see the true beauty of the plant. Most plants will be able to produce flowers, some more than others, but that also depends on the environment.

If you have a winter season where you are living then during the winter a lot of plants will lose their leaves and it will look like they are no longer alive but when the spring season comes round they will start to grow again through till the autumn. There are some flower plants that have bulbs so these plants due during the winter and the bulbs are removed from the winter and kept indoors. When the weather starts to improve towards spring, they are put back into the ground and they start to grow again and produce beautiful flowers. Growing a plant can take a lot of patience and the way you look after the plant is very important. The sunlight, the water and its food all need to be perfect in order for the plant to grow. If any of the plant’s basic needs are not available, it can stop the plant from growing. For example, if there is a lack of sunshine the plant will not be able to photosynthesise thus the growth will not take place. But too much of any of its needs will cause damage to the plant too, for example too much sunlight will be too hot for the plants leave and they will burn and dry up.

But if you fail the first time, it doesn’t matter as you are able to start again with new seeds and learn from the mistakes. When the seeds are first put into the pot a lot of people put a plastic bag over the pot, they pierce a few holes to the bag to allow a bit of air to go through. But this allows the soil to remain moist and warm which is the best environment for seeds to open and start growing. You will be able to see the shoot coming through from the seed itself. You need to add water to the soil every few days to ensure the soil remains moist but not too much as you don’t want the seeds to become mouldy as they will not grow as much.

If you get the start correct then you will be able to get the plant growing well. The start is where you need to take the most care after when the plant has started to grow you need to water the plant and give some food to provide the nutrients to help the growth. It gets easier as the plant grows more and more.

Go on give it a go, go and plant a few seeds and see your plant grow.