2. Walking through memories
Was up REALLY late last night (by late I mean like 3am…I’m getting too old for this HAHA) having a deep conversation with a close friend. We talked about the fear and pain of failures, and we both acknowledged how blessed and privileged we were to have grown up with such supportive families and in a safe environment. We really focused on what failure means to us and how it affected our choices in how to proceed with certain life decisions. I won’t go into my friend’s experiences without their consent so I’ll share mine. This is something I’ve only shared with very few close friends, but I wanted to share my experiences with everyone.
BTW sorry for any typos/grammar mistakes, probably won’t have time to read it over until tomorrow (really wanted to get a post out tonight).
Because I grew up in a safe environment I was always carefree about grades and education. I did terribly in grade school, and although my mom tried the “tiger mom” approach, it never worked. Grades were just never that important to me, even into college. Although I started to do really well in middle school I felt like it was just for show, so I could hang with the honor roll people and say that I was smart. Was it self-serving? Yes. Did I do it to be more popular? Probably. I was always into sports so I wanted the whole package, and that just happened to include doing well in school. In high school I just ended up being average at everything. I didn’t have any focus and I was still really carefree. This lead me to picking community college before transferring to a four-year university.
I spent about three years in community college. Honestly it was some of the best years of my life and I met some people that I’m still very close friends with. Most of my focus during community college was singing and playing Yu-Gi-Oh (yes I picked up in college). I joined a small jazz group that I love going to, and the more I focused on singing and card games, the worse I did in school. I managed to get a guaranteed transfer to UCSD after my three years at De Anza by barely keeping a 3.0 gpa. I transferred as a general biology major, which was probably the worst choice I could have made. I struggled really hard just passing basic biology classes, and sometimes I even dropped/withdrew from them because I felt like I wasn’t going to do well. The only thing saving my gpa were my extra curricular classes, and this trend persisted even when I transferred to UCSD.
I still kept with singing as my main focus, but instead of card games I started playing League of Legends and got into some stressful relationships. I hated biology, and this plus my low drive to do anything academic lead to me being kicked out of school.
This is when it really hit me.
The pain and suffering that my parents have been enduring all these years finally hit me. All the money they spent on my education that I just threw away, money that people would kill for. I thought about every time I told them that I was doing well in school and all the times I told them I’ll be graduating soon. I won’t say that I didn’t feel anything every time I lied to them, but at the time I was just trying to save my own ass. I thought I could get away with slowly finishing school while not going to class and just going to midterms and finals, I was horribly wrong.
This was the failure of my life. Not getting kicked out of school, but being such a shitty son to parents that literally gave everything they had for me. You can judge me, I won’t blame you. I know I was a horrible son and I’ll spend the rest of my life feeling that regret, and the pain my parents suffered through.
By a miracle, I appealed and was accepted back into UCSD after one quarter suspension. This was a rare chance that very little people get. Usually people who get kicked out have to go to community college for a year and show that they can still do well, but I was lucky enough to get back in just after one quarter. The condition though, was that I had to change my major. This wasn’t exactly a bad thing, I hated biology and really needed a change, so I buckled down and picked Management Science, (econ with a focus in management) and finished that major in a year and a half. After experiencing the biggest failures of my life I was able to switch drives and graduate from college.
This 180 brought a hunger about in me. Something that I couldn’t satisfy.
I wanted more. Not in tangible items or anything, but in life success. I wanted to make up for all the times I failed my parents and myself. After being hired to work at Medtronic, I worked my ass off. I learned the ins-and-outs of my job. I worked upwards to 80 hours a week to try and advance in a field that I had no experience in. My efforts were met with promises of being hired as a full time employee but that wasn’t enough. I didn’t see myself growing as a fast enough rate or learning as much as I wanted to learn. This was around the same time my relationship of three years ended.
One of the reasons why we ended was because she thought I was going nowhere in life. I was devastated. If you read my previous post, you know that I give my everything to people I love. I worked countless hours to try and support her and her dreams but that wasn’t enough, I wasn’t enough. So she left. This fueled a fire inside me that hasn’t extinguished. This led me to wanting more from myself, this led me to endure a software engineering bootcamp to better myself and my life.
After graduating from the bootcamp I was lucky enough to be chosen to help teach and share my knowledge with new students for the next three months. The stars aligned and I found a job as a software engineer soon after finishing my fellowship. This is where I am now.
Am I satisfied? No way. Am I happy? Yes.
I was able to change my life from working cruel hours toward something that I might not have liked in the end, to working at a company that I’ve fallen in love with. Doing something that I’m incredibly passionate about.
Sorry this was such a long post, I’ll wrap it up.
The point is, sometimes you need failure in your life to change. I was too immature in my early years of college to realize my own mistakes before it was almost too late. I owe everything to the support of my family and friends (and miracles), and I’ll spend the rest of my life improving myself to show them my gratitude for everything they’ve done for me. If I didn’t have parents that spoiled me with love I might have gone in a much different path, one I might have regret walking.
Hopefully my experiences reached some of you. I hope that my children will learn from my mistakes, but also not to be afraid of failure. I can only hope to love my children half as much as my parents love me, and when they fall, I hope they know that I’ll always believe in them even if they’ve lost confidence in themselves.
ps: what did I do today? :p
Went to San Francisco for my cousin’s wedding. I haven’t seen her in maybe…8 years? We’ve been going through this family feud for ages but are slowly coming back together.
Being in SF really brought back memories. All the good times I had MakerSquare, and also how someone that was really close to me is going through the same thing as I did. I still worry about her, I don’t think I’ll stop worrying for a while. I still worry about if she’s getting enough sleep, or having enough time to cook food or is stressing about MakerSquare. You know that feeling where your head presents you impeccable logic (and your friends repeat what your head says) and your heart just overrides everything? Yeah, it sucks. But thanks to my friends and family, everyday is getting easier and easier. It’s getting easier to focus on my own happiness rather than someone else’sn who might not even have thoughts about me anymore. Breakups are always hard, but what can you do but strive on to become a better you? Talking to people really opened my eyes to what was a mistake and what wasn’t. I know that it’s easy to blame yourself for everything and say that you caused the destruction of your relationship, but rarely is it just one person’s fault. A relationship is a two-way street and it takes both people to preserve it. The hardest part for me is still forgiving myself for the mistakes I made, and also to accept that it wasn’t all me.
Thank you to everyone that has sat through my rants and relapses. I know it’s not easy to deal with someone like me, but you all have impacted my life so deeply by being here for me. I hope to repay each and every one of you with my love and gratitude, one way or another.
Song of the day:
The Chainsmokers — Closer
This also links to my personal playlist, hope ya’ll like it!
Have you ever fallen so hard that it changed the way you look at life? Let me know your experiences and thoughts on failure and picking yourself back it.