Getting wait-listed by Duke Law sits somewhere on the shortlist of most satisfying events in my life. Granted, at the time, I was pretty upset about it. But now that I'm wiser and older, I appreciate it because it's one of the few times in life where I've clearly reached beyond than my grasp. I tried to do something and failed.
Today, I tried to do something and failed. Miserably. I examined my first witnesses on direct and cross examination. What should have been twelve minutes of glory turned into 45 minutes of apologizing. I tried to (illegally, it turns out) mark up exhibits after I'd admitted them; I asked open-ended questions during cross-examination; and I even lost my credibility by letting my cross-witness get me mixed up on the facts. Incidentally, I successfully excluded my opponent's exhibit on hearsay grounds, but that's like celebrating a third place finish because you weren't in fourth. Either way, you don't make the playoffs.
The taste of failure is . . . bitter and nasty and disgusting and nauseous. And I can't wait to take another bite. It reminds me of something my junior history teacher used to say:
I love cold, drizzly rain. It soaks through to your bones and you can't ever seem to get warm or dry again. But at least you know you're alive.
I didn't really have any doubts before, but now I know for sure. I am alive.