Yes, I might be the first person who found the joys of failing. But, how else I am going to cope?

As someone who inspires, I must be open and honest about my journey. I am known for oversharing in times where I should keep my mouth shut. (And, this might be one of those times.) I took the July 2019 Bar Exam and failed.

Yes, your favorite overconfident Indian woman failed the Bar Exam. Of course, I was crushed. I wept for hours on the kitchen floor of my sister’s apartment. How could all my hard-work not pay off? Did I burn out? Did I not study correctly? Did I get lazy? All of these questions are not important right now. The only important one: Will I pass the second time? And, to be frank, I don’t know…

My whole life has been dedicated to becoming a public defender. It’s not a job for me, but a calling. It’s my mission in life to represent indigent people. Regardless, I knew my work would entail helping others. So, I did 100% of the bar prep and gave up my life to this dreaded exam. But, I still failed. I can easily go on a rant about how I think the Bar should be abolished and how annoying standardize tests are. I can even rant about my test anxiety and how studying full-time clearly does not work for me. However, that is not the point of this blog post.

The fear of taking the exam again, studying, and sitting for the Bar did not cause me anxiety. Before my results came out, my wonderful therapist told me, “I am not worried about you.” His words got me through this rough period. However, it was the fear that I let down other people that caused my anxiety. I failed everyone who told me I passed, who told me that I would be a great public defender, and who believed in me. For some reason, that caused me anxiety which made me lose sleep.

I am constantly reminded of the people who did not pass the Bar Exam the first time. Often, I am told, “you’re in great company.” Although that puts a soft smile on my face, I still beat myself up.

So, where are the joys? Hang on, I am getting there.

My life has always been an uphill battle. Sure, my parent’s house reflects a very privileged upbringing. But, that privilege came with strings that caused its own set of struggles. From the early age of 5, I was told that I won’t achieve anything in life. I was told not to dream big. In high school, I was told that I was not going to get into college. In college, I was told to pick a different profession other than a lawyer. I’ve flunked tests, lost games, had my heart-broken and fallen down more times than I can count. However, when I look back at those times, they seem so small. I know they’re an important part of my journey, but they did not hold me back.  They made me the person I am today.

Failure teaches you humility. Failure teaches you courage. Failure teaches you confidence. But more importantly, it teaches you that success does not mean anything unless you truthfully and humbly fight for it. In the words of my favorite fictional human, Gina Linetti, “Life is chaos, success is arbitrary, and confidence is everything.”

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Failure did not strip me of my confidence, my capabilities, nor my happiness. It certainly did not distance me from those who believed in me. Failure reminded me why I fight every day for indigent people; it offered a period of reflection where I saw how I became this magnificent creature writing this blog today. Failure makes me strong – not fearful. And, all those reasons demonstrate the joys of failing.

For all those judging me for not passing the first time, get a life. If you find yourself bringing others down to make you feel less insecure, then you need three things: 1) a hobby; 2) a therapist; and, 3) to stay the hell away from me. If you’re the type of person who judges someone by their GPA and rank, then you’re missing out on some pretty awesome people.

For all those who are concerned about me, I am fine. Thank you for checking-in and not using my failure to measure my self-worth or my passion. I cannot promise that I will pass the Bar the second time around, but I will keep trying. Nothing stands in the way of my journey to become a social justice warrior. I’ve always figured out how to overcome obstacles. It might not be at the pace of “normal people,” but I manage. My journey should be filled with struggles. (It makes for good entertainment.) The only thing left to do is remind myself about how strong I am.

I hope that I’ve added some perspective to those going through the same struggle I am. I hope that I’ve inspired you all to keep fighting. And, I hope my journey reminds that you’re never alone.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned!

Published by Nikita Srivastava

a passionate feminist and social justice warrior who occasionally calls herself a goddess. She received her JD in 2019 and became licensed to practice law in 2020.

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  1. I can not describe the inspiration and strength that is you. You’re right, a public defender, a bomb-ass attorney, is WHO YOU ARE. You will pass the bar exactly when you are supposed to. I’ve been worried sick about the results and reading this flooded my soul with peace and courage to face whatever the results may be. If the most passionate person I know, the person who IS and will be the best attorney I’ll ever know, says it’s ok, then it’s ok. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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