After the year I’ve had – I’m a huge fan of instant gratification. But, since there’s really no way to fast-forward to Spring Bar results, I’ve been left to ponder my studies and the ever useful Barbri countdown, complete with hours spent studying and what I need to study daily in order to complete the program. It’s cool – I’m not type-A or anything. I really appreciate the extra anxiety.

If there’s anything I’ve learned recently, it’s that time stops for no one, and sometimes you’ve got to be your own cheerleading section. I say this not because I’ve ever been left truly alone, but because it’s become glaringly apparent that struggle is relative and failing the bar exam is just not that big of a deal.

I still have my law degree and an MBA. I’m still a competent individual and a damn good law clerk. I’ve got a wonderful job – with a guaranteed associate position after passing the February Bar – and amazing family and friends. So again I say, this was a humbling experience, but not the worst thing in the world.

Failing gave me a new perspective on my career. I want it more than I thought possible. I have a direction that now feels much more purposeful and the support I received was a reminder that this path is not one I’m on alone. This personal militia showed up for me in unexpected ways. After reading my results, I publicly posted about my failure. What came next was the most unexpected outpouring of love and support. In case you need some motivation for your own studies, or just some positive energy to get you going down this – very long – road, here’s some good juju:

I’ve thought about missing the mark every single day since. It’s taken this long just to start feeling motivated because I was more frustrated in myself than determined to push past this point in my life. I browsed study tools, re-upped my book order and Barbri enrollment, and even met with professors. But when Barbri screwed up my order – resulting in my books not arriving until 4 weeks after their order date – and a series of other random events, I felt it harder and harder to sit and study. Focusing took every ounce of effort and with all the crazy batcrap going on in my personal life, I just didn’t have the energy to give. I still don’t, but learning to compartmentalize is a skill I’ve learned to hone.

Many of these events were entirely insignificant. But I made them bigger than they needed to be. These moments were reasons I gave myself to keep me from studying, getting in my own way. Today I realized there was no point in waiting. I’m just putting off the inevitable. I have to study. There’s no way around it. So, today’s the day I put practice in motion.

I hope you find the steel you need to get through this, too. Best of luck and may your grit get you through.