“I didn’t fail 1000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1000 steps.” – Thomas Edison
If you want to be successful, failure is inevitable. In competitive sport, I knew and respected the place of failure; I was able to remember that I played because I loved to. It was in school and what I was going to do in life that failure hit me really hard.
I was basically an A student until I took physics and world history and barely passed. I busted my ass studying but still felt horribly over my results and myself. It was not until I got into a top twenty university that I finally felt successful. The funny thing is, I was totally unhappy and lost once I got there. Even though it was the right one, the decision to transfer was so stressful and hard because I worked so hard to get there. I left Atlanta and drove to Virginia to a middle of nowhere, college town that captures your heart. The thing is, although I love all things Hokie, I was still depressed and after a year, I moved back home to deal with that. I never got my undergraduate degree and failure stung me every time I had to tell or explain that to someone.
Once I dropped out, I started pursuing hobbies instead of a degree. By chance and good faith by Chef Sidoe, I got a job as an assistant pastry chef making some epic cupcakes, pies and cookies at The Brite Spot in Echo Park. After a year and a half I more so dreaded the work than loved it and left to pursue cake decorating as an intern at Charm City Cakes West, what I thought was a dream of mine. Once I was there, I realized the baking/decorating kitchen life was not the life I wanted and, somehow, it felt like a failure.
I needed a new direction. I was really into spinning so I decided to get certified. I loved it but I never taught a class. Again, it felt like a failure and a waste of time, money and energy.
I was looking for a job and some ways to save money and came across a work-trade at Yogis Anonymous. I had been practicing yoga consistently for two years then and studio fees are expensive, so it was a perfect opportunity. Once I got there I fell in love with the environment of the yoga studio. I eventually got a desk job and was there five times a week, falling in love with yoga and the community every day. Ally, the co-owner and a wonderful author, was having a teacher training and I signed up. I had never once considered being a yoga teacher but I wanted to know more and once I did, I was hooked.
When I look back on all that I thought was a failure, I now see them as lessons guiding me towards my most authentic and happy self. I thought my instincts were off, but they were actually dead on. At Emory, I starting out thinking I was going to be an education major but when they got me into an actual school, I dreaded it. I thought I had this false idea for so long that I wanted to be a teacher; I just did not know it then that I was meant to be a yoga teacher. I had turned courses to writing, women’s studies, sociology and psychology classes. All those classes I took that felt like a waste once I “dropped out,” I still cherish and use today. At Virginia Tech I studied interior design. I used what I learned to make a wonderful home with my partner and I hope to make my own yoga studio/ health coaching/wellness center one day. I thought I wanted to be a spinning instructor but turns out I prefer a studio of mats to bikes. And who knows, maybe I will use my baking skills to make healthy sweets as options for clients. I look at all my yoga trainings and my schooling at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition with pride, the same pride I feel about my whole path to get there.
I learned that changing courses is not a failure. Trying something, even a relationship, giving it your all, realizing it is not your passion or not for you and being able to move on, learn some lessons and try something else is courageous and strong; it is not a failure. It is okay if things do not work out. There are always more things ahead and you never know what they may be. If you love what you do one hundred percent, you will be okay with the failures along the way to success.
At the end of the day, it is not about what you do, but who you are. If you focus on who you want to be and how you want to show up, things may just start to fall into place.
Sending you love and support on your journey,