When I was twenty four years old, I applied to become a police officer in my home town. I had physically trained and studied things that I thought would be important and ask police officers for any inside tips that I might be able to put to use. The hiring process was a long and drawn out affair between all the tests and interviews. Over the course of a three or four month span, it all came down to the psychological testing.
I didn't pass the test because I was crazy. I didn't pass because the psychiatrist thought I wasn't cut out for the job. They believed that I wasn't assertive enough, that my moral compass was too good to be true, and I was even told that I was not obnoxious enough.
That failure still stings sometimes because I thought it was what I was meant to do. Four years later, I tried again with another city. However, failing once was enough to make the department decide not to try wasting any money on my examinations to try hiring me. Not only did I fail, but it was like I was marked.
I resigned myself to the fact that I would never be a cop, but that also didn't mean that I couldn't do good things as well. Back at that time, I worked at a casino and I was in the surveillance team. Regularly I had to seek out thieves or determine the truth of a given matter. I was even privileged to occasionally discover evidence that cleared someone of an accusation. That was my favorite thing to do, because it meant that if not for me then someone or a whole department wasn't pre-emptively cleared out under suspicion of theft or wrongdoing.
After a couple more years of working, I decided that I should return to college and complete my bachelor's degree. I'd hoped that acquiring it would open me up to new opportunities and give me a chance to do even more of what I loved, helping people. I love helping people with the gifts that I have been granted. An intellectual thrill from providing a solution or comfort by thinking out the problem. I was really good at investigations, but I also have a good ear for conversation.
I still haven't found a job where I feel like I belong. By the time I had published my first book, I had been out of work for nearly two years. I had to do something finally, and with the encouragement of my friends I took the leap with story writing. Maybe my stories don't solve anything, but maybe through happy tales of adventure and overcoming obstacles it will give someone hope.
People think I am funny for collecting trinkets that represent my failures. It's not from a sense or some need to punish myself. I want to remain humble and avoid being arrogant. I want to remember that even if I had succeeded at what I tried, that it still might not have been what I was meant to do. However, I believe that my failures have served to shed light on my road to success. It's a path I continue to walk because success isn't a stopping point, it's an everlasting desire. I have never been defeated by failure, I've been given a lesson from each time that I have failed. Although it is not always clear to me at the time, I think that lesson is simply put: "Not here, keep going and you will find it."