By Courtney Furubotten |Los Angeles, CA
Success is around every corner. Open Instagram and you’ll see it in your friend's posts. You’ll see it on the magazine covers in the grocery store. It’s celebrated at the table next to you in a restaurant. With so much achievement constantly being thrown in our faces, it’s easy to feel like a failure at the slightest inconvenience. But just like light and dark, success cannot exist without failure.
Nobody posts about the days they skip the gym, and you won’t find an award show where they celebrate the worst movie of the year. That doesn’t mean failure doesn’t happen, it’s just not as glamorous as success. As a society, we should get more comfortable with falling short. There’s beauty in the struggle and missing the mark creates character. There’s nothing wrong with failure. It’s choosing to end your journey with failing that is the problem.
"I felt inadequate and lost, defined by my rejection."
When I was 15, I got my very first C in school and I was devastated. I felt like my chances of getting into my dream college were gone. I buckled down and took all the hardest classes the following year just to try and appease the admissions committee - it didn’t work. At 17, the heartbreak of reading “We are unable to offer you admission at this time,” was the worst I had experienced up to that point. How was I supposed deal with not reaching this goal I had my entire life? I felt inadequate and lost, defined by my rejection. I decided that I wasn’t going to take no as an answer. If my dream school didn’t think I was good enough, then I was going to prove them wrong.
I enrolled in community college at the expense of many jokes. My friends were all going away to school and I was stuck with the “burnouts” and “stay at home moms” of community college. My mindset was that I was the only one standing in-between myself and my lifelong goal. I hit the books harder than I ever had before. Breakups, vacations, difficult material, and many other things crossed my path, but those things were not going to get in the way of what I wanted. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. At 19 my hard work finally paid off as, “Congratulations!” flashed across the screen of the application to the school that rejected me two years before. After four long years and a lifetime of dreaming, I finally achieved my goal. Rejection no longer defined who I perceived myself to be.
It's okay to take a rest, change your route, and continue on."
Courtney is en route to graduate from her dream university at UCLA in 2020 majoring in business economics with a minor in math. She is a personal trainer in her spare time. Phew, get it girl! Thank you for sharing how you didn't take no for an answer to #CatalyzeCourage by taking a different path!
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