I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong – Benjamin Franklin
Ok, that is not exactly what the email said from the CFA Institute. Their exact wording was:
Dear Tamzin Nel
We sincerely regret to inform you that you did not pass the June 2012 Level I CFA exam. 38% of candidates passed the June 2012 level I CFA exam….
but as I read those lines I could not help but feel an absolute sense of failure. Especially because it is the second time I have read them. The second! I have failed the “easy” level of the CFA examinations TWICE.
I received the email an hour and a half before the end of the work day and because I had told everyone I was going to be receiving it they were all eagerly awaiting me to announce that I passed. I was so confident that I had. Everyone was great when the news was to the contrary. I managed to keep it together at work but the second I got into my car to drive home I started sobbing. I got to my boyfriend’s house and he had a big glass of red wine and a delicious supper waiting. I cried and cried and cried. I cried until I fell asleep; drained and exhausted.
WHY??? Why in the world am I so upset about an exam? I am writing this post in my current state of mind as I hope to look back one day and be able to laugh at my ridiculous emotions at failing an exam. It is not like I have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness or have lost someone close to me. Nope. It is nothing that warrants me being so utterly devastated, but I am.
When I think of all the money, time and energy that I have spent on this exam I feel like such an idiot. There is nothing that I hate more than wasting money or time and I have done both. I have basically flushed thousands of rands down the toilet. Most of all I am unbelievably embarrassed. I know I am not the first person to ever fail the Level I (twice) but for me this is personal and I really do not want to be compared to others. At school I always did well, matriculating with distinctions. I got through university with relative ease obtaining a degree with a perceived difficult major with good marks. Why then when it comes to this examination am I not passing. Maybe I am being too hard on myself? Maybe I should have been harder on myself when it came to preparing?
I have always prided myself at leading a “balanced” lifestyle. It is something my friends always commend me on as well. I have always worked, studied, exercised, gone out, read, wrote, explored and made time for my family, friends and boyfriend. I try to do it all. Right now it feels like I might be “doing it all” but not doing any of it well. Right now I seem to be average at everything. What is the point then? Does a “balanced” life even exist. Is it time for me to choose. I don’t want to. I like doing everything and making time for everyone in my life whilst I try to broaden my knowledge base, skills levels and partaking in activities I enjoy.
I think the worst for me is that I know intellectually I am capable of passing and eventually holding the title of a CFA Charterholder. I did not fail by a huge margin. I was so close to passing. I love where I am working now and I foresee an incredible career ahead of me. Hopefully soon when I have billions of rands of assets under management, clients happy with their portfolios’ performance and an accomplished and successful life in all spheres of it I will look back and reminisce at my doubt with a grin on my face.
As Benjamin Franklin said; “I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong”. Mr Franklin was a Founding Father of the United States as well as a polymath, leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman and diplomat. Walter Isaacson once described him as “the most accomplished and influential American of his era” and maybe one day someone will be able to describe me in a similar way.
Thank you to my ma, aunt, sister, boyfriend, friends and colleagues for all the encouraging words and support! I have taken cognisance of everything you have all told me and I cannot begin to explain how much I love all of you.
Here’s to changing my current attitude towards my capabilities and proving to the world – but most importantly to myself – that I am capable and not a failure but a major success! Here’s to finding 100 ways to do it right next time.
PS This is post is definitely not about me trying to elicit sympathy or compliments or anything. I am merely trying to document my feelings for future reference and a reminder. The reason why I blog is to document my life and everything forms part of that – the good and the bad.