Dealing with Failure

Happy New Year folks,

I thought I’ll cap off the year sharing my thoughts on the “fails” of life. In this post I will ramble about failing,success,why people threaten to force feed me nutella and last minute cookies.

So stay with me, it’s going to be a long post.

 If you lived long enough on this planet, you may already know that failure is inevitable. Even when you put a buttload of effort into something, it might not give you the success you wanted. But you always,always get something out of it. This is just truth.Life is unfair, but it is balanced. It’s kinda like that Newton’s Law thing, every action has a equal and opposite reaction, anyways let’s move on from the topic of physics because physics is sad.

I had my fair share of “fails” this year, some brought emotions of sadness,neutralism and even gratitude.

But man, it was kind of hard to start this post, because I had to start a google docs and come up with things I failed at this year. But really, looking at my list, I don’t feel down or disappointed. And it balances out with the little successes I had this year.It’s all in the past, and with every little mistake comes a resolution and something to learn and grow from. I’m happy to say I have no regrets.

Let’s start with the little business project I had back in spring 2014. Strike 1. Why would Naomi choose information technology as an elective class when she has no knowledge or interest in computers. No answer. But me being an optimist, thought to myself, I would totally get something out of this class. And I did. This was kind of the birth of “Choose Happy”. It started with designing websites and coding with the program Dreamweaver. Haha never would I ever expect I would know somewhat how to code to make things appear on the “website” or page I was creating. Never did I expect the amount of time and dedication I would put into one elective class. By the way I still know nearly nothing about coding. Which is why I’m using WordPress. Anyway if anybody is interested in learning how to code HTML and create websites and such, code academy is a great place to start. It kind of saved my life. And this was only part 1 of the project. Creating a beautiful website to attract “clients” or “customers”. It’s funny because at first, I continuously denied the fact that we had to sell a product. When I came up with Choose Happy, I wanted the concept to be a site where people found “daily inspiration” for happiness. But later on the road, I came to the realization that I actually had to sell something. And then the lists hit me hard. Now I want to create a business. Products from water bottles,mugs, kitchen utensils to tote bags and yoga mats all popped up in my head. Yeah I was really an optimist. Well still am. I was going to create products with the concept of Choose Happy built-in. I knew I had to start somewhere, so I started with mugs.I gave a business presentation, was approved and began assembling a team. Then the work began. We had to get supplies,hand paint the mugs, get the website up and running and do promotions.

Fail #1– I did not anticipate how much it was going to cost. I may have went to crazy with getting the perfect paint(thanks Martha Stewart) and went way over the original budget. Plus there was ALOT of trips to different stores to get more mugs,and the right types of mugs, and the best prices.

Fail#2– In amidst of all the stress, I really forgot to show some appreciation to my fellow workmates.They put a lot of effort into this project and my vision, and put up with the long hours. Thanks to Subs, my graphics prodigy, helped me design a beautiful logo for the original website. Thanks to Rachel and Jan, I would have never finished that many mugs without them, and had time to do promotions.And all of them for sacrificing their lunch times to help out on the day of the event.

When the event was over, even with a sufficient amount of pre orders we got, we only broke even . Which was kind of disappointing considering the months of hard work we put into it. But I guess that’s just the thing with business. It’s a risky job. The chances of failing is higher than succeeding. And in the end, we didn’t lose any money either. It was all a big learning experience, and I got so much out of it. It started me on the path to creating a website,confidence in sharing pieces of myself,trusting others and learning that I’m not going to start a business anytime soon:P

**Gosh, are we not at the cookies part yet? NOPE sorry, tis was a long year**

School

School was dare I say, a breeze last year, with little nicks and knacks and stumbles respectively. But this year, it hit me with a bang,pushing me over the edge of a cliff.I wasn’t used to getting a grade below a certain percentage and the obvious pressure from the people around me at school. Everyone’s freaking about getting into post secondary and boasting their successes and “failures”. Certain subjects I just didn’t/never clicked with hit me in the bum. The burnout I felt usually at the end of the year, I felt quite too early in the first term. It was unmotivating and devastating to my mental state. I didn’t want to get out of bed sometimes which resulted in being late to class almost all the time.I was tired and irritated. I felt immense sadness and hopelessness for myself.I sacrificed things I enjoyed and was good for my body like proper meals and regular exercise because I felt that it was a waste of time.I didn’t even have the motivation to pack a lunch for the day sometimes. This seaping negativity would get better and worse in the weeks. I would feel horrible one week, and better the next.. And the horrible again the after.Honestly, I still don’t know what to with this situation. But I know I need to get out of this rut. I want school to become something that’s at least bearable and doable. If it means getting additional help from outside of school to help me focus more and learn what I don’t understand, then maybe that’s what I should do. I am however grateful for the people in my life, my friends, who make it so much better. People who make me laugh in the morning, thank you. Cross country was a great distraction, lots of fun(and pain).The clubs I joined I enjoyed putting energy into, with the people and the little successes that came with it. Overall, I hope that 2015 is going to be a good year. And I know it’s up to me to make that happen.

***Pause, it just started to snow guys***

Okay and then there’s the little funny fails like me failing to make a decent snowglobe when I wrote a blog post on it, and burning cookies throughout the year.  But burning some cookies only made me a tad better baker in the end, because you learn to check on them every minute as opposed to checking facebook for 10 minutes and forgetting. And snowglobes, I think I’ll just stick to buying proper ones from Target. I’ll leave snowglobe making up to the actually artistic people out there:P

**Cookies now? Not quite, talking about failing is kind of depressing, let’s balance it out with some successes I had this year**

So with failures, comes some successes that I’m proud of. It’s important to reflect back on things you did well as opposed to just focusing on all the negative things.

First success I’m talking about is getting my first part-time job! It wasn’t all easy and breezy as it seems. It actually took a lot of applying and rejections until I finally got an offer. Let’s just say there’s a buttload of different resumes saved on my computer. My first job was both nerve-wracking and super exciting. I didn’t even know what my own SSN was, never less what it stood for.I am so grateful though I was surrounded by the most wonderful human beings who treated me so well. It was almost like a short-term family :’) I kind of fell in love with the environment and the faces I saw everyday. Overall it was a great experience and I learned A LOT from it.Like how does a job actually work, my weaknesses, my strengths, and the true meaning of the saying “don’t talk unless you’re making the money”.

#2- Not failing physics.. yet

#3 Exploring

This year I really went out there. I remember being scared to go down certain points where my dad worked(main street) because I was unfamiliar. Now I’m known for always being down there. I visited so many cool shops and cafes. Tasted the best hot chocolate ever,been honey tasting multiple times and took a real ballet class.

I been down the sketchy parts of downtown multiple times(with friends of course) which my mom would raise an eyebrow at.

Been hiking in the literal middle of nowhere(Jug Island anyone?) in the rain and the cold. Blew dry my butt for half an hour in a McDonald’s restroom.

Got over my baking fetishes with dates and making bread.

Sometimes you got to go out of your comfort zone to discover amazing things.

#4 Starting a blog

It took me like more than 6 months or more to actually start this blog.  I’m so glad I did. Blogging for me is such a release. Just writing this post made me feel better about life.It gives me a motivation pump, a chance to reflect and share my thoughts, and the prospect of one person reading your post is exciting. I hope I’m able to continue this for as long as possible.

#5 Combating procrastination

I wouldn’t say I’m quite there yet, but I have noticed I have been managing my time more efficiently, at least the first month when school started. I stopped using Facebook after school, and instead dedicated that time to get work done. It was so freeing to have the evening spared to do things I enjoyed because I had my work done in the afternoon. I studied for this one test that was months away on a quiet rainy afternoon in a cafe. I got projects done BEFORE the dead line. Little accomplishments calls for little pats on the backs for me 🙂

#6 Running some clubs

I had the opportunity to corun some clubs and it’s been fun. The hard work we put into events like fundraisers and healthy bake sales, paid off with money to donate to important causes. It feels great to be able to put effort into something you’re have genuine interest in, and have it bring people together and do good things for a good cause.

So those were some of the accomplishments I had this year. I hope you take the time to reflect on things you did well this year, give yourself some credit!

Anyways those cookies I promised you.

So I decided to start of 2015 by setting myself up for failure. Haha.

I came across this pinterest winning recipe “Nutella cookies”. Only 3 ingredients.

I had my obvious doubts. I had experiences with making banana oatmeal cookies which only contained bananas, oatmeal and raisins. Let’s just say I only ate them because I was starving and it was 3pm in the afternoon.

Sometimes it requires a bit more of effort to make food taste good. But alas, I said what the heck maybe these will taste good. I grabbed the unused jar of real hazelnut chocolate butter I got last year, some oats and an egg.The results were confusing. I thought they were a bit too crumbly for my taste(maybe because I used crunchy hazelnut butter?) but my mom thought they were perfect. Maybe GASP I just don’t like nutella. Confession:I never had actual nutella. My mom thought I was allergic to chocolate as a child(I call BS) so I never got the chance to taste it. Which is why when I tell people they want to tie me up and feed me nutella. I don’t know, I think I’ll still stick with my banana chocolate chip cookies(which sorry I haven’t posted the recipe of, still). But if anyone likes nutella cookies, I have some for you.

Here’s the link I got it from: http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2013/04/pinterest-recipe-wins-nutella-cookies/

Here’s the original pin: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/107382772335266999/

Here’s my process:

Ingredients:

-1 cup nutella

-1 cup oat flour(healthier alternative to white flour)

-1 egg

-1/2 tsp vanilla if you wanna get fancy

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 350

-Mix all the ingredients, plop onto cookies sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

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Got some real Canadian hazelnut butter that I got to use up.

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Measure up a cup of that goodness.

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Get some oats into that mix.

067

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Add an egg.Mix it up.

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Plop or shape by tablespoons and flatten onto cookie sheet(greased or with parchment). Martha Stewart would tell me to get it together and get a darn cookie scoop.

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A plus for clean up

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Bake for about 10 minutes or until bottom is golden brown and holds together.

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Pretend they don’t look like lumps of dog doo and serve! Makes around 15 cookies.

Gosh that was a mega long post but I hope if you stayed with me till the end, you got something out of it;whether it was a better outlook on failure or an easy cookie recipe for a last minute party you’re going to.

Remember to view your failures in a more positive way. Maybe you’re being too harsh on the way you define a failure. Did you try your best? Did you learn something from it?

Happy failing,succeeding and cookie making,

Till next time

Naomi

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