You realize you’re barely hanging on, stuck right in the middle of being educated and being qualified to get a job.
You have landed yourself in that spot where you know that technically you’re just as qualified as those with an actual professional degree. Heck, probably even your friends, colleagues, seniors, and the person who politely turns you down at the job interview know it too. It’s the professional institution that hands out those two attractive shiny letters ‘CA’ (Chartered Accountant) that doesn’t know it, and if they do, they don’t care. Because you have not passed their examination. Again.
You may possibly be more knowledgeable than someone within the 3% that have actually passed this exam. Yes, 3%. More knowledgeable perhaps, because you have studied for the subject twice more than those that passed the first time around. And now here you go, attempting the same exam for the third time, ending up having wasted a year of your life unemployed, at home, studying, hopeful, that this time you will pass.
After the first failure, you tell everyone you had expected this. Because you knew that your laziness has paid off. Your friends have all passed at their first attempt, proud at being in the 3%. And you’re truly, immensely happy for them. I will pass this time, you confidently tell yourself and the people consoling you. Your friends shake their head and say things like hard luck, that the planets were not in your favor. They expect you to be all shaken up and down in the dumps. After all, you have failed for the very first time in your life. Right, because the next time you fail in life, you’ve already been there. You know how it feels.
You surprise them by showing them you’re strong. You tell them that it’s no use crying over this, that it’s time to be up and studying. You’re full of new resolve, and you let everyone know, by starting afresh with a clear mind and clear goals.
The second time around, you have put your heart into it. You let yourself dream this time. You let yourself hope, and in times of overflowing positivity, you see those two letters etched before your name. CA Madhura. The exam result sends your dream crashing, but all is not lost. You have won more than half the battle.
And this is how, two attempts later, you are 62.5% a CA. 3 out of 8 papers are still remaining. You are clueless and have no excuse. Nothing to say. You really need to grit your teeth and face the fact that either you have been lying to yourself and you are simply not cut out for this profession, or that something is going drastically wrong in your study pattern. How can one paper, which is actually the subject that you quite enjoy studying about, be the cause for you failing a second time?
This time you do not even try and show the world a strong face. You simply fall back on your fabulous support system of friends to help you. You start your studies at their gentle prodding, and they hope you will gain momentum soon. You respond to everyone’s condolences bravely, and nod when they say that this time you’ll definitely pass. But inside, your thoughts are bleeding unto themselves.
You have doubts about everything you do. You seriously question your choice of career, but your logical brain knows that you are, in fact, quite capable of seeing this to the end. And then it will just be the beginning of a career you hate. But you don’t let yourself think about that. Just get that coveted degree, you keep telling yourself.
You doubt you can even write that one paper which has betrayed you. You attempt a mock paper, and your mental block won’t let you. You find yourself unable to solve it, even though you love the subject and are good with the concepts. You peel away the shadow of failure, and fear remains. You’re afraid now. You’ve been too close to reach it, you could almost taste it. And now fear encompasses. This time there’s no steely resolve; what’s driving you is your fear, whispering, ‘It’s this time or never’.