I am a lucky person. I've had my share of ups and downs, but in general I'd say most of the time things go my way.
This week, people who sat for the Certified Association Executive exam in the last part of 2009 are receiving their results. The letter comes marked "confidential" from ASAE & the Center and the amount of anticipation and fear one feels when opening the letter is similar to receiving the final word from a chosen university on whether or not you'll be soon dining in their halls.
Yesterday I opened my letter and discovered I had not passed.
My good friends, Deirdre and Sandra, who took the test at the same time I did, both passed (hooray!) and the hardest part about failing the test now is not being able to celebrate with them. The second hardest part is realizing that since I live so much of my life online, these results are something I think I have to share, as well.
Patti Digh (@pattidigh) is the author of Life is a Verb and is a fun, inspirational force in the community I run around in online. For me, and the friends others refer to as "social media gurus," Patti's book is like a Bible of sorts and you will likely find it on all of our bookshelves. I even gave several copies away as Christmas presents this year. I am thankful for Life is a Verb this morning when I am feeling a bit down about my results from the CAE exam.
What I've decided to do is go ahead and reapply to take the exam in May (while I am still in the CAE system). This time I will start studying earlier, avoid any attempts to study during holidays (like last time), and be more deliberate about my preparation. Patti says, "Every Day is Day One: Do It for 37 Days," so I will study and track my progress for 37 Days in a row on a separate blog, CAE 37: From Failure to Fabulous, starting today.
On a positive note, I think living online as much as I do allows me to have a bigger support network and also prohibits one from hiding away for too long...which in turn is helping me to deal with things quickly and honestly.
Also, I can honestly give the advice to people taking the exam in the future: do not think you can cram at last minute and pass. It takes more than three intense nights of studying. I'm usually a smart cookie, but this takes more than that.
Thanks to everyone who sent their words of support leading up to and following the exam. I won't let you - or myself - down (again). Also, Patti, thanks for writing your book and giving me a manual for how to pick myself up, dust myself off, and turn failure into a new WordPress blog.
If you wish to follow my progress, please feel free. I'll be posting my study habits, tips, and process along the way. Bring it on!