Monday, June 10, 2013

Don't be Defined by your Downfalls

Friday was a lesson in extreme disappointment.  It's funny that it should come so quickly after my post about finally being happy.

To become a licensed Architect, you have to earn a professional degree from an accredited college (5-6 years), acquire a set amount of intern hours in various parts of the profession (usually totally 3 years), then take 7 tests that on average take at least a month each to study for.  I took my last test before leaving on my vacation a few weeks ago, and Friday the score report letter came.

Now, I have already failed this test once.  My first 5 tests went by with no problems, totaling over a year of studying and test taking, but the last few have been my downfall.  I will admit, it has been hard for me to accept that I am not perfect, and that I make mistakes.

I took the letter to Josh's office to open it with him.  On the drive home I was elated.  I just KNEW that I passed, and I started imagining telling everyone that after 10 years of college, interning and test taking, I was finally an architect.  Josh and I walked out to a patch in the grass to open it, and I read the letters across the page.  FAIL.  I had failed one of the three drawing parts, passing the multiple choice and the other drawing sections.

Usually, news like this would send me into a spiral of out of control eating and drinking to numb the disappointment and embarrassment of not being perfect.  Believe me, there was a good amount of crying, but I felt more calm and controlled in terms of my physical reaction to the test.  I knew that I would just make myself feel worse if I got out of control.

I headed to Whole Foods, because that was my plan anyway, and after a few minutes trying to de-puff my eyes, I went in and grabbed a few things.  Now, there was definitely a little chocolate to help numb the pain, but these 100 calorie dark chocolate bars are hardly a binge.

I grabbed groceries and a little treat for later, which surprisingly, I didn't immediately open when I got home. It is a great lesson to me to have some restraint, ESPECIALLY when I'm upset.

I spent the afternoon in our yard reading Game of Thrones.  I would highly recommend losing yourself in a book when you are feeling very low.  It helped to keep my mind off of my failure, and I actually felt better.

Josh got home and took me out to dinner.  I nibbled a little bit on our usual US Pizza fair, but I didn't end up eating very much.  I think an older-less in tune with her body-Dana would have used this as an excuse to eat as much as possible.  I am learning.

The weekend went ok, and I spent a lot of time trying not to think about it.  There was sleeping, reading, baths and a cook out, but I'll write more about that later.

The biggest lesson I'm taking away from this is to not let disappointment define how I will treat myself.  It happens, and I have to just try again in 6 months.


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