I understand failure. I really do.
This is a beyond personal post, and I don’t mind putting it out there. Most of the people who will care what I have to say, don’t enter the blogosphere. (Behalwe jy my skat, ek weet jy kom lees skelm my beauty blog 😛 ). For those that do, this is our space for taking off masks.
I studied for five years on a three year degree. Did I enjoy my studies? No. Am I completely depressed today because “I went into the wrong direction”? No. So somewhere in between, something happened. That something was failure.
For a bit of a background, I studied accounting. Why? Because my mother thought I was rather good at numbers and accounting, that I had potential which I’m not reaching, and that I’ll make a good accountant. Was she right? No on the accountant part, yes on the potential part.
I am good with numbers, yes, but yet I’m terrible at math. I don’t know how to explain it. Generally, I can remember a string of 10+ numbers rather well when I memorise them, and I can remember a phone number if I used it two days before. But I’m not good at calculating stuff.
Luckily for me, accounting is not maths. But I also sucked at accounting. I had to do my second year over because I couldn’t handle the pressure in the exam hall when the guy next to me was making throat noises the whole time. Yup, that cost me a year. I had to repeat my third year when again, I couldn’t handle exam stress and rather chose to play cellphone games than study for my final exam. Yup, that cost me another year.
My then-boyfriend-now-husband has been the biggest mainstay, pillar of support and my whole backbone since the day we met. He lets me be. Even though I left studying for the last minute, he always supported me in that last minute and did not tell me “you should’ve started earlier” or “I told you so”.
For management accounting, I studied hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours. And I still failed it. I had to do management accounting on third year level three times! How’s that for failure.
In between those five failures, I ended up doing a three year degree in five years. After my five years, my final marks were not good enough to go on to CTA, which is your honours degree that you need in order to become a CA (Chartered Accountant). The failure stats for CTA students are even worse. So, did I want to do my third year, for a third time, and then maybe also fail CTA three times and not even make it to the two qualifying exams thereafter? No thank you.
So I decided to do my honours in tax, because it was the easy way out and I had to “do something” to prove that I’m not a complete imbecile. And guess what? For the first time since I had English at school, I started enjoying what I’m studying. I cannot put my finger on what it is exactly, but for a reason yet unknown to me, I enjoy tax. So much so, that I’m currently doing my Masters in tax. I enjoy reasoning with logic, and to me, that’s tax. The “logic” has to come from somewhere, and that’s the legislation. I enjoy the legal stuff. I haven’t picked up a calculator as of yet in this course, because it’s not about the numbers. It’s about the reasoning of legislation. Well, sort of.
So yes, even though I sucked at my studies and wanted to quit every other day, I knew how to persevere and luckily it has eventually paid off. I don’t know how else I would’ve done what I’m doing today without walking this path, so I’m really very thankful for that. I’m not thankful for the pressure that had to go with it, but I had to grow up and own up the responsibility too.
So, what did I actually want to do with my life?
I’m sure if you look back at what you loved as a child, you can relate that to what’s happening in your life as an adult. So why do we stop doing what we loved as children?
I know a great photographer who owned her first camera at age four. My hairdresser friend knew she wanted to do hair when we played princess-princess at age eight. The most hospitable person I know, I’ve known since primary school. I remember having tea parties at her house since we were like, ten, and she could cook before I knew what an oven looked like. Today, she owns her own restaurant. It’s her second one, and she’s freakin 29! My husband built bridges and paths in the mud on the farm where he grew up. Today, he’s doing it in real life. Mozart wrote a symphony at what, age four?
For me, I wanted to be a teacher from since I can remember. And given the opportunity, I would love to still pursue this; even be a lecturer at a university, you never know.
I also wanted to be an actress. Who doesn’t want to be an actress?! I like making people laugh and I enjoyed drama classes and all those arts and culture activities at school. Was it enough to make a life out of it? My mom knew better and said no 😉 .
I also really, really enjoyed reading. My mom encouraged this a lot and I’m thankful towards her that she bought me books by the millions. If you ask anyone that went to primary school with me, I was the girl with her nose inside a book THE. WHOLE. TIME. I got scolded at for reading a book rather than doing homework many a times, and I would much rather read during lunch breaks than running around on the playground. In Grade 2, at age 8, I won the prize for the most books read that year in our grade. A hundred, if I remember correctly. Obviously children’s books, duh! But those children’s books very soon became young adult stories like Famous Five and Sweet Valley High. Nostalgic much? (And I still own every single one of the books I had. They’re in a closet somewhere at my mom’s house 🙂 )
Through all this, I’ve always enjoyed writing. I remember writing poems since about the age of nine. Not that I would do it daily, but a few times a year the inspiration really struck me and I would accomplish a great piece of writing. When I was eleven, visiting my grandparents in one school holiday, I wanted to start writing a book. What about, my grandmother asked. I don’t know, I said. What a silly question, I thought. I just wanted to write! As nobody took interest or encouraged me enough, I didn’t pursue this mission.
No one except Miss van Rooyen, my Grade 11 & 12 English teacher at school, took a serious interest in my writing. So the will to write died a slow and painful death. I succumbed to the pressure to be what other people told me to be. To reach the potential that other people told me I could reach.
The one mistake I’ve been making my whole life, is placing my dream to write in the encouragement and acknowledgement of others. If there’s no encouragement or acknowledgement, I don’t write. I wanted to know that somebody is enjoying what I wrote. And if they didn’t, then I didn’t want to write anymore. WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!
My pity party for today: The reason I said at the top that most of the people who will care what I have to say here won’t read this, is because I don’t even know if they’re reading. Except for my ever supporting husband, I don’t think anyone I know reads this on a very regular basis. Not because they’re assholes, but because reading blogs are just not their interest. Does it make me feel alone in this? A Bit. Will it be a reason to stop blogging? Never. I just hope for the day that someone asks “hey, how is it going with your blog?”. I’m also not surrounded by beauty lovers alike and I would like someone to talk makeup to. You know, mascara and transition shades and silver shampoo and stuff. But alas, life goes on.
So, Life, I have failed you many a times. I failed expectations to become a CA, and I failed myself in failing to pursue my heart’s one desire.
But that will change. I need some training in grammar and language and have set my eyes on a few writing courses. I WILL pursue this after my Masters in 2018. And I WILL write. If it’s only my silly ramblings on here, or if it’s my secret poetry, or if it’s tax articles for the Financial Mail, or if I become a novelist, I just have to find my niche. And when I do, I won’t stop again 🙂
Update: I apologise, I came over very harsh and took out the I-feel-sorry-for-myself-because-my-family-don’t-care part. Hopefully we can walk around without masks and say it how it is. Love you guys 🙂 🙂