The Thing About Failure…

Dear G,

The first thing you need to know about this particular “F” word, is that it is relative. There is no black and white, and regardless of what we were all taught and how we were all graded in school, there is no pass mark. Got it? What, you don’t believe me? 🙂 Let me break it down for you.

Scenario 1: Kid comes from a family of brainiacs. All his older siblings were top in their class and both parents well accomplished in their professions. If said kid comes home with “B” grades, in his family’s eyes, he is letting them down and thus to some extent, classified a failure.
Scenario 2: Kid comes from a family where none of his siblings graduated from high school. Same for both parents. Kid toughs it out in class and scrapes through with “Bs” and “Cs” and ultimately ends up in some form of tertiary education. Success story! Kid is hailed in his family.
My point; failure (and success for that matter) is relative.

I myself am more of a Scenario 1 kid believe it or not. Most Ghanaian parents like to brag to their kids about how great they did in school, maybe to set some kind of benchmark for them. I don’t know. My reality was that while your auntie was bringing home the first prize in physics each year, I was struggling to make it out of the bottom ten list! Let’s take a moment to pray you didn’t inherit the “oh-my-God-what’s-with-all-these-numbers-and-weird-symbols-and-what-do-they-all-mean” gene.

I guess what I’m trying to say to you today is, don’t sweat the small stuff. But don’t get me wrong; you are not allowed to be anything but the best version of yourself. Anything less will keep you up at night. I guarantee it.

Great things come in the most surprising packages and instances. So when you feel like you’ve failed at something over and over again, when you reach the point where the thing you’re pursuing seems to be getting further and further out of reach, take a minute, take a day, a week or even a whole year and just stop to listen to yourself. The voice inside you that knows more about you than you can ever imagine will tell you if it’s time to pursue something else, or approach from a totally different direction. I call it God, some call it fate, destiny and even luck. We’ll talk about that later, but for today, you must always believe that there is a bigger world out there that you have no control over and in which you have a significant role to play that’s been predetermined. Once you find that track, there’ll be no turning back and whatever ‘failures’ you had experienced prior, will suddenly make so much sense to you.

Through it all, I will be cheering you on with bells and pompoms on some days, and other days with quiet pride and satisfaction. No matter who or what you become and how things progress, know truly, that I will always be your number one fan!

Love you always. Angels on Guard.


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