So. I took my boards.
I took them, and didn't pass.
This, needless to say, was not what I was expecting.
I am better now than I was for the first two or so hours after the fact. There was some crying, followed by a much needed nap. Then there was a great afternoon of yummy food and hanging out with James that totally lifted my spirits.
I can look at the whole thing a little more objectively now and really see where my weak spots were. The two main ironies about that are, 1) I did much better in the one area that usually is the one area people most often struggle in and 2) My failing score was SO CLOSE to a passing score, it was infuriating.
It's hard to not feel like a failure, a phony. It's hard to not feel a little disappointed in myself and not to mention a little embarrassed. It's hard to not feel like the two months I spent preparing were for naught. It's also really hard, particularly right afterwards, to not let myself be defined by this ONE test experience.
But thankfully, all this hard stuff is a transient stage. Sure, I'm still frustrated that it didn't go as planned. Sure, I am pissed that I have to lay out moolah AGAIN for this damn exam. But I know that I can do it. The areas I didn't do well on? I can work on those. I also know that (and I will always be grateful for the very well timed interview last week that showed me I do know my stuff) the exam does not equal my skill level. Test taking anxiety has been my academic Achilles heel since... always. Clearly, I need to work on that a little more.
And finally, I know that I am loved and supported no matter what. The hugs, messages, calls and texts (and afternoon of awesome with James after the exam) of support around this have been downright amazing.
James and I love (and repeatedly watch) a Disney movie called 'Meet the Robinsons'. One of the big themes in the movie is embracing... no, celebrating your mistakes/failures and learning from them and moving forward from them. The phrase that is repeated throughout the movie is the title of this post.
I think it may take a few more days for my ecchymotic ego to fully recover, but I know I am going to be OK. It may take me that much longer to get this exam over and done with, but I have a new path to move forward on, new goals to work towards and the drive to get there:)