Life doesn't turn out as we thought. My life is the perfect example of that.
And sometimes things that seem like big disappointments prove to be our greatest blessings.
I failed kindergarten. For those who know me simply as the always reading, opinionated and conversational engineer scholar, that may be hard to believe. But it's true. When my parents and teacher were making the choice whether to let me move on to first grade, they counseled and chose to hold me back a year.
I fail IQ tests. I'm not sure that people can fail them. But if there's such a thing, I've done it. Every time I've moved to a new school system and people have given me those weird tests that require anagrams and timers and just random pattern games (doesn't this sound like an IQ test?) I never test in the "gifted" range. As a result it always took a few years to convince anyone that I could do okay in the advanced classes.
While in Taiwan, I never got to serve on the East Coast. That may not seem like a big deal for those who don't know what the East Coast of Taiwan looks like. But it was most often described as "Paradise" and "Heaven" or "The Garden of Eden". Seriously. And aside from my trainer, every single one of my colleagues spent some amount of time serving there.
A few months ago, right after I had spent considerable money on getting Kato fixed and his worn out front tires replaced, I got a flat tire. And so had to get Kato a new wheel and a new tire which meant Kato got the bulk of what I was planning on spending for Christmas.
And the result of all of this?
Everything in my life was pushed back a year so that when the moves happened, I was in such a grade that I met all the wonderful people in my life that I met. I could never have asked for better friends in middle school and in high school.
And all of this moving led to the fact that while in the "normal" biology class in 10th grade (oh I was so upset I was now a year behind everyone else) I was nominated and alerted to the fact that there was a school that I would later attend and which school would change the course of my life.
While I never served in Taiwan's coveted spot, I was able to be in the same Stake for over a year and get to know one section of Taipei really well. Plus, I got to attend the temple every six weeks which has marked a distinct pattern in my current life.
While driving through a snowstorm and taking 8 hours to drive something that normally takes only 4, I was extremely grateful to have 3 brand new tires on my car rather than just 2. Just knowing that I had just that much more traction helped. Safety trumps amazing Christmas gifts any day. (In the words of Heber J. Grant, I'd rather be hours late to a meeting than 50 years early to eternity.)
It puts life in perspective. It puts my current disappointments in perspective.
Don't judge a book by its cover. Don't judge the end by the beginning. And don't declare yourself a failure EVER.
Words to live by.