Ashes, it was all ashes.
The months of efforts, the endless textbook readings, and the stacks of practice problems….in the end, it was just as paltry as the frantic struggles of a dying rabbit in the jaws of a wolf. As I beheld my scantron report, I could feel tiny slivers of ice pierce through my heart, forcing the franticly beating tempo to a quivering stop. The tendrils of numbing coldness spread out through my heart and filled my chest; it felt as my insides had been scooped out, leaving a numb, empty shell behind. I blinked furiously, wondering why it was so hard to hold back the sharp, stinging sensation in my eyes. My throat tightened, and I wondered if it I were trying to hold back a sob or actually choking on my own despair. At the moment, I just didn’t care.
I have tried, and it wasn’t enough.
It’s said that life is more than just a mark; however, at that moment, it seemed as if my whole world was crumbling into ashes. True, a lacklustre mid-term mark isn’t an automatic one-way trip to a hopeless future, but no matter how hard I tried to reason with myself, a small part of me kept shrieking the word “failure” into my mind. In the background, I could vaguely hear someone bemoaning that how he should’ve gotten at least a 95; it didn’t help with my foul mood at all. Feeling utterly wretched, broken and inadequate, I covered my face with my hands, as if such a pathetic gesture could ward me off from the rest of the world. Or maybe it was the stinging sensation in my eyes that I was trying to hide away.
Life is never easy, and pain and frustration are just natural parts of life. However, I refuse to let the pain and frustration define me. A bad mark wouldn’t ruin my life, but the bitterness brought by the frustration would. Failure, inherently, aren’t necessarily good or evil, it’s just there to tell me that something isn’t working as it should. It’s only the values that I attach to failures that will determine what kind of person I will become.
Yes, there’s no denying I did spend hour upon hours in Taylor Library trying to study, but what percentage of that time was devoted solely to the actual “studying” part? It was said that 80% of our time was only used to create 20% of value. Maybe, before I bemoan how lacklustre my mark was, I could have used my time more efficiently in the library, check my email less often, focused more on the course material… I suppose learn from mistakes is a better damage control system than getting hung up on the past failures, and the pain of failure was an inevitable part of growth.