The Other Side of Failure

As you can probably guess from the title, I didn't pass. Even typing it out now, it doesn't fully feel real. There's a whirlwind of emotions going through my head but a stand out among them is the heady realization that I don't know what comes next.

My whole life, I've been a planner. I've always gone from Point A to Point B knowing exactly how I'm going to get there and exactly what I'm going to do there. Up until now, my plans have never suffered a major setback. Up until now, I've been lucky enough to never have been derailed so completely. I'm no longer qualified for my job, the one I had the interview for. I can't do many law-related things but clerk and volunteer until the second bite at the apple comes in February.

I've never not had a plan. I've never started from scratch. There is so much freedom, it's a bit overwhelming. This is a brand new experience and in a very strange, very tiny way, I'm kind of thankful. I haven't stopped going since the 10th grade. Not for a single season. It's been school, study, work, volunteer every day leading up until now. And now, I'm (and I know it sounds strange to say) blessed with plan-free time. Everything from this point on is unknowable and I am excited and frightened at the thought.

The only things I know for sure are:
  • This is surviveable and
  • I will have to be ready come February
Beyond that, everything is a blank page. And I'm not completely sure that's the worst thing.

"The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won."


  1. I have had some disappointments recently, too. I am now trying to figure out my plan B...and maybe a plan C, lol ♡♡

    xoxoBella |

  2. I really enjoyed reading this post Ally. As someone who also has always had a plan I can see how refreshing a clean slate sounds. You're going to figure out exactly what you should be doing and have a very bright future. It's so exciting to have a blank slate and it's really inspiring that you're taking this in stride and choosing to see the bright side. I'm excited to see what great things you accomplish in the months to come!

    Laura | Laura Aime Vous

  3. I'm sorry to hear that, Ally, but come February and I'm sure you'll be a ball of flame ready to ignite everything you've been waiting for.

    This experience resonated with me, really. I finished my A Levels last year. Throughout my entire High School and Sixth Form years, I've been working my ass off with one goal in mind -- to get out of the damn country come my results. It's all the motivation I had, the entire reason why I studied so hard. My results were satisfactory, definitely worthy of the scholarships I was hoping to land to get out of the country.

    Surprise, it didn't happen. Financial woes (living costs) and personal issues got in the way and I was stripped off my chance of leaving the country I was so desperate to flee. I had no idea what to do because this year was supposed to be the year I begin a new life abroad. I ended up working (still am) to save up for my college fees and, even then, I won't be able to leave the country. I'm starting college next year (FINALLY) and I'm reworking the plan towards leaving the country (Hello, States!) It's definitely a far more different path, one that isn't as straight forward, but during this time, I've learnt so much about real life just from working.

    I'm rambling here, but my point is there has to be a reason why this happened, and whatever it is, you'll always be able to bounce back up. I love the quote at the end, especially. Good luck, Ally.

    Lots of love,
    May | THE MAYDEN

  4. Ally, you are SO strong and SO capable. You are so grounded, and have so much perspective and intelligence - I just know you're going to be more than fine.

    I am so, so sorry you're having to deal with this, and at the moment it's obviously the most unfortunate, less than ideal scenario. But I'm so proud of your outlook on it at the moment - it IS exciting for you to FINALLY have some time for yourself! To not constantly be slaving away, and I have this amazing feeling that you're going to gain a whole lot out of this.

    All that being said, I know it would still be incredibly hard (I think we've all had our own versions of experiences like this). I always say, when you do have your bad periods, allow yourself to feel what you need - feel sad, rage, cry into a pillow, sulk for a few days - bask in your emotions. It's okay and it's normal, we're human. But, also try and remember and accept that period as what will turn into being a gift in your life - the dark periods will only allow us to appreciate the light more :)

    Once something has happened you can't really change it, but you can definitely change your thoughts and feelings towards what you're building next. Once choice at a time, you can build a new start and I know you're going to build it with positive thoughts.

    I'm a big believer in the idea that life happens for you, not to you. There is a reason why this happened right now, and although it's difficult at the moment, something good will most definitely come out of it. And just think, how much sweeter will it be when you do pass, it's going to feel amazing - and you'll be able to look back on the past few months and see just how incredibly strong you are!

    Sending so much positivity and good vibes your way, Ally!

    P.S. If you ever need someone to vent to my blog and mail is always open! Just remember to be kind to yourself, you have worked so, so hard and that will be rewarded - it's just that there's some other things which you were meant to do in these next few months! :)


  5. I'm so sorry! It must be super disappointing. I haven't personally had to take any big tests like that, but my husband, sister and brother in law have. & They all failed the first time! I think it's really common. I say that so you don't get too hard on yourself.
    You'll do it! And that pass will mean so much more! {insert cheerleading and extra positiveness here} =]

  6. I don't know much about the bar exam, but I hear it's very difficult. As long as you get to try again, and hopefully you will pass next. Something I learned today is that we all know how to take care of our bodies but not our minds. So any negative thoughts towards ourselves is extremely bad for our mental health, so just keep a positive head and try again.

  7. Don't be sad! I can imagine how you feel but I'm sure that if you try again, you'll pass :)

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  9. I'm so sorry that you're going through a hard time at the moment, but you are sounding so strong and brave about it already. I'm sure you'll smash the second chance you get in February!

    Miranda xxx

  10. Hey Ally, don't be sad. I know it's disappointing but you'll have a second chance and I'm sure you'll do it great this time because you're strong and capable. Forget this now and think about your second chance because you will do it, you just have to believe in yourself. Stay strong babe! xx

    By the way, I love your blog! I stumbled upon it while I was working on my Liebster Award post, so I've nominated you! Here's the link to my post where you can read more about the award and why it's important for smaller blogs!

    I hope you accept it! With love, Classy Glamourizers :) xx

  11. So sorry Ally! I started off my education/career in law and I know how tough and stressful it can be! Your already positive outlook on it inspiring for anyone who encounters disappointment, because it happens to all of us! Stay strong <3

  12. You've taken such a beautiful perspective on this-so inspiring. I've been the same way all my life-go, go, go; plan, plan, plan. Sometimes those setbacks, when life runs off course, have been the most creative and freeing times of my life. I don't know if you believe in fate or some higher power, but maybe someone or something knew that this was exactly what you needed. And, I KNOW you will pass with flying colors in February.