Saturday, May 12, 2007

Knock on Wood

Why am I so hard on myself when I don't do well on something?

Throw a rock and you hit someone who has failed an exam, a class or a task. I feel compassion and understanding for these people and generally assume they aren't carrying that failure around with them because either they learned from it, eventually passed it or turned it into something good. When I was asked in a job interview years ago what my biggest failure had been, I honestly answered that I never felt I had failed at anything. That idealistic optimism still lives within me, but it's harder to remember in the face of slamming doors and that overloud FAIL stamp coming down on my test.

The hardest was the first time, when I wasn't selected for an international clinical operation that I expected to be a shoe-in for. It was easier when I didn't get the residencies I applied for because I knew they were limited. The hardest to date is the test I took yesterday that I fear I may have failed. Calling my mom, because that's what we do in these circumstances, didn't help because she only remembers all the times I've called her in tears during high school and college over some exam that I usually ended up doing well enough to great on. Letting my boyfriend rock me and wipe away my tears helped more than he'll ever know and bitching about my friend who likely did pass helped a lot too. There goes my resolution to stop bitching about people.

I wonder if it's like the time I expressed that I didn't know what true pain felt like and the universe "gifted" me with pain enough to empathize with almost anything. Maybe I should learn to knock on wood.

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