I used to think I could do anything I wanted to. I wasn’t gifted, but if I put my mind to something, nothing could hold me back from doing it. I remember when I learned the lesson that nothing can be done truly successfully without first failing several times.
I was an honor roll student all through my elementary years. I would always bring back high averages for all my classes. I always sat in the middle of the room in the front row, as I still do. I always paid attention and took the best notes. Then came math.
Back then I was an arithmetic wizard. I could solve fifth grade problems with ease and in a much quicker pace than my peers. After my parents divorced, my mother moved my brother and I to Connecticut.
There, I began middle school. Sounded easy enough for me; after all, I had no problems in my last school. However, suddenly the difficulty of the problems shot up. I had no idea what I was doing.
Perhaps it was a byproduct of being the child of a divorce, but I still believe it had to do with my own mentality. I remember sitting in that classroom with my peers and my teacher, Mrs. Almagro, thinking “what the hell is this?”
Of course I would never say that; I never did and never will cuss in front of my superiors, an act I find extremely uncouth.
But I was unsure. For the first time I couldn’t do something on my first try. I tried and I tried. I couldn’t find the solution. The condescending attitude which would lead my to my own personal glory began to terrorize me.
I didn’t know what to do then, and I never truly found out. It is one of the biggest regrets I have and something I can never forgive myself for. It wasn’t until a few years later that I realized the error of my ways.
Now I take everything as a blueprint. When I’m faced with a problem, I solve it by building a house. First the foundation. Then I build the walls. Finally, I add the roof over it.
This method has helped me deal with almost anything in my life, be it a life crisis or something as banal as my German homework. Everything must be planned for. Nothing can be done on a whim. Nothing can be be done successfully without failing.