My previous post was my last MW practice essay until the exams, and this is my last post until the exams. I wanted to thank all of those people that have supported me, helped me, inspired me and given me a smile to keep me going. Yes, it is true that most of our angst can be caused by our relationships with others. Conversely, most of our joy is due to the same thing. So I thank everyone who has brought joy into my life.
I have already taken the exam twice and failed both times. You can only take it three times, and if you don’t pass tasting or theory then you have to start all over.
Some people get very worked up over this fact. Or I have heard some people in the program talk about those who were on their last try saying, “That’s a horrible position to be in.” Now is it really?! Honestly, when you think of the worst things that we have to deal with in life (sickness, pain, death of others, death of ourselves) we think passing an exam comes anywhere near the toughest things you will have to encounter?!
I have told many people that the most important reason I was in this program was to improve my knowledge & skills, as well as to meet other nice, generous wine nerds. Of course, some people have scoffed at the notion. Well, the one lesson I have learned in life, over and over, is that I will meet many people who will never truly understand my intentions. They are not wired the same way I am. And one is not better or worse, it is simply the idea that it is a waste of time to try to explain your motivation to people who are motivated by different things.
I was an outcast for most of my childhood when I was in elementary and high school. Besides being a nerd, I did not have a “normal” childhood and hence I was an odd child -which led to groups of kids continually mocking me. When I became fifteen years old I was considered cute by some popular boys in my class, and because of that fact I was invited to join the popular girls, the same ones who made fun of me. After a few days, I would hear them trash each other as well as kids outside of their group. I knew that I would rather stand alone rather than be around such toxic energy. I told them that I did not want to be friends with them and paid the price by them deciding that I would be the main target of their attacks. Once I turned seventeen, I stood up to them and like most verbal bullies, if you call them out, they will be afraid to continue their abusive behavior.
Yes, through time I have realized that those kids were insecure, and that we are all insecure. But it is interesting how sometimes that manifests itself in some people as bullying and tearing down others, and in others by them either putting themselves down or ideally trying to lift themselves up while trying to lift others up.
And there are those remarkable people, who did bully, take responsibility for it later in life and go through the daily practice of trying to change their toxic thoughts and actions to more positive thoughts and actions. I have not met many of these people, but I have met a few – so it is possible to change this behavior.
Why am I talking about these issues that have nothing to do with the actual taking of the exam?
These issues have everything to do with the exam – to me anyway. Yes, I want to pass. Anyone who has been in a study group with me knows I have worked my butt off. But many brilliant, hard working people have never completely passed, and even though I am certainly holding my own, it is a tough exam that has many variables – impossible to explain it or compare it to anything else. It is one of those things that you only know it if you have experienced it. But I want to stay true to myself and not try to live up to someone else’s view of what has value or does not have value.
I value kind people. I value empowering people to feel good about themselves. I value the idea that all of us can help each other. I value knowing that no one is better than anyone else. I value being challenged to learn more, and to improve myself. I value the people who put themselves on the line instead of sitting on the sidelines judging others. I value those who have been knocked down many times in their life and always find a way to pick themselves up and in the process lift up other people with them. I value someone who can find it in themselves to smile at someone else even though they are going through a tough time.
All of us have it within ourselves to be incredible human beings. It does not matter the initials or titles we have with our names. I call myself the fun name Dame Wine because we need to have fun and some laughs, and may I say, I think I am awesome and you should think you are awesome too.
My ultimate journey is not getting the Master of Wine – my ultimate journey is to surrender to what is great within myself while seeing that greatness within others.
I have already learned so much in this program. I am already very grateful. And I know I am still a work in progress, and that will probably never end – and to me that is part of what makes life exciting and beautiful.
So I say farewell for now – but I will be back after the exams.
And may the force be with all of you, always!