I remember the first time it all turned to shit. It turned my stomach. I stared at that damn piece of paper, looked at the comments by my professors, and I knew for damn sure that it was all over. I stood there feeling foolish. I thought back over everything I had done, every decision I had made, and all I wanted was hit somebody. I hated that piece of paper, and I hated the asshole who'd drafted it, and I hated the idiot who had delivered it. It wasn't the worst day of my life, but it came pretty close.
It all worked out in the end. I wasn't the first lawyer to get a bad result; I will not be the last. It took me a long time to accept that very, very few of us have an uninterrupted forward momentum. Everything has a rhythm to it; ebbs and flows, ups and downs, fits and starts. Some of us suffer terrible reversals and still others face terrible catastrophes. These are the truths that feel-good pop entertainment fails to show us.
Some of us are so deeply engrossed in our social-media worlds and the close-knittedness of our relationships, secure in the comforting cocoon of the love and friendship of our family and friends, that we forget that life has a nasty habit of causing us pain and disappointment. We must face them and move forward. Or we can idle for a while as we collect ourselves, get a hold of our emotions, and act when it is clear that the pain or disappointment hasn't killed us.
I went on to a career that, while not exactly Tony Starkian, has been more satisfying than frustrating than I could have predicted. I have done more in the past five years, accomplished more than I thought, achieved more than I hoped, and built a reputation that I jealously protect than that day of rage could have predicted. I have had the support of my friends, the love of my family, the jealousies of my competitors and the sabotage of my enemies to spur me inward and forward. I am slowly perfecting my craft, bringing what little wit and wisdom that I possess to getting it better and better every day. One day, with dedication and perseverance, I will be the best at it. Or I'll die trying.