The Lost Paper

Hey y’all!

Long time, no see…or blog I should say! To be completely honest I have had an idea for this blog post for awhile but needed a kick in the butt (thank you Meghan!) to actually post it!

Warning: this is probably my heftiest blog post- so thank you for taking the time to read it.

So a few weeks ago The Residential Leadership Community (The RLC) had an event called “This I Believe”. The purpose of this event was for residents of the community to simply share what they believe.  This event made me extremely proud to be apart of such a passionate, talented, and supportive community…everyone who presented KILLED it!

This I Believe

To say I was excited would be an understatement.  Although it is pretty easy for me to get excited for things- I had been seriously looking forward to this Monday night the entire weekend. I prepared my “This I Believe” a week or two before and was greatly anticipating reading it. So as I sat down in my seat totally ready to eat the Campus Cookie I had in my hand I looked into my purse and felt my heart drop because my paper was not there.  Throughout high school I had been taught to always have technology backups because technology can, and probably will, always fail you when you need it the most.  But I didn’t think that paper fell into the “always will fail you” category as well! After recruiting four of my friends to walk around the entire building, check the cookie station (let’s be real- I spent a good amount of time there), the bathroom, and all around where we were sitting, I could not find this paper.  I sat back down and as the event was starting and the lights were dimmed I felt defeated.  I had a little pity party for myself for about twenty minutes before realizing how pathetic I was acting.  What made me really pathetic was the fact that my entire “This I Believe” was about dealing with failure.  Below is what I had prepared to say in the weeks before the event.

“My junior year, so about two years ago I took AP US History as I am sure a lot of you guys did as well.  The class definitely wasn’t what I would call a walk in the park and that was partly due to the weekly reading quizzes.   I was lucky enough to have a teacher who not only went VT, but also decided to put little inspirational quotes or sayings on the back of these weekly quizzes.

I want to read you guys something that was on the back of one of the hardest quizzes…It’s called, “Reflections on Fortitude.”

‘It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out where the strong person stumbled, much less where the doer of deeds could have done better. On the contrary, the honor belongs to the individual who is in the arena…whose vision is marred by turmoil, dust, sweat, and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes back to reenter the fray again and yet again; who knows the great devotions, the great enthusiasms; this is the one who fully realizes the triumph of true achievement. However, if in the trying, one falls, or even fails while daring greatly, that brave soul’s place shall ever be higher than those cold and timid beings who will never know the joyous taste of victory…much less the bile of defeat.  The former will have lived, in the truest sense of the word; while the later but existed.’

So today I want to commend the people who fail.

I also want to commend those of us who decide to brush ourselves off and jump back into the arena.  I want to commend the folks who have experienced the bile of defeat but because of that you have a full understanding of the joy that victory brings.  Because that failure, that victory…that is truly living.

When my teacher read this to us after most of us failed the quiz my class stopped complaining about the grades for second.   I think at that moment we had come to a collective inner realization that if you are truly jumping into the arena of life you will fail.  And then you probably fail again and again and again.  But that failure…that’s not the point.  The point that is you tried, the point is that one-day you will reach victory, and that victory…that will be that much better because you understand what failure feels like.  So for those of you who try, who jump into the arena, and you fail…keep doing what you are doing.  Keep trying, keep daring, keep failing, and keep living.”

As I was sitting in the audience beating myself up for not printing two copies I realized that I needed to actually live out what I claimed that I believed in the paper (above) previously written. I knew that if I didn’t at least try to stand up and say my message then I would be so disappointed in myself later. So I made a “note” on my phone and tried to summarize my thoughts.  I went up to the microphone and this was my introduction:

“About 20 minutes ago I realized that I somehow forgot my sheet of paper- I probably dropped it on the ground somewhere. I literally have been beating myself up since the event started because I was so excited to read it!! Probably too excited! But then I realized that the entire point of my paper was “failure” and conquering failure. And then I realized that this might be life teaching me a lesson. So I figured I would at least try to represent what I believe and not let my own ‘loosing paper’ failure cripple me.”

After the introduction I read the poem because I did have that saved on my phone and then tried to sum up my thoughts afterwards.  After sitting down I truly felt like I just had a moment where life taught me a lesson.  Sometimes it is really easy to put passionate sounding words on a sheet of paper, read that paper, and then be done and move on.  But then sometimes you are called out and actually have to live out what you believe in.

About three minutes after I sat down my I heard my friend Alex sitting next to me whisper “Hadley- wait…is this your paper?”.  I turn my head around, look down, and realize that my “This I Believe” paper had gotten caught in between our seats.  I literally had retraced my steps, checked the bathroom trashcan, recruited people to help me find it but it had gotten caught literally inches beside my leg in the seat next to me.

Needless to say- I definitely felt like life had just taught me a lesson and I am thankful that I had the opportunity to actually live out what I believe in.  So I have a slight change in my beliefs and values that I originally wrote in my paper.  I believe in failure because failing is a part of living and a part of reaching success in the future.  But more importantly, I believe in actually living out your beliefs and demonstrating them for everyone to see what you stand for, what drives you, and what you love.

This I Believe pt 2

This was in our weekly newsletter! Haha- gotta love reading off the notes app on your phone #21stcenturycommunication

Much Love,

Hadley Carter {happy hc}

Not Watching Football

Hey, y’all!!

These past few days girls and guys have been pulling out their cute flannels and vests here in Blacksburg so I thought the “y’all” greeting was appropriate!! Speaking of fall weather clothes, my HIGH from these past few weeks is that RIDING BOOTS WEATHER IS HERE! I am such a huge fan of boots.  I feel like they are a practical, cute, and essential part of life.  Unfortunately my low is that I am having ankle issues due to my attempt to be the cute-sportsy-run around drillfield- soccer playing girl.  Five minutes into kicking the soccer ball around I ran backwards into a dip in the drillfield. Foot swelling isn’t fun (or cute) so I am headed to get an x-ray at our health center in few minutes! Wish me luck!

(Update: My ankle is thankfully not broken, just sprained!)

So, for the second installment of “Hokie Spirit” I decided it would be fun to admit all the things I watch while I am supposed to be watching football.  Don’t get me wrong- I LOVE HOKIE FOOTBALL! It is so much fun and one of the best things about Virginia Tech but occasionally the football games get hot….and a little long and subsequently my attention wavers.

So below are some of the things I watch while I am not watching football…

1. The VIEW…This view makes me feel so lucky to be here.

stadium2. The HOKIE BIRD taking a nap right on the corner of the field. Something about the hokie bird is overwhelmingly cute to me…so the hokie bird napping practically melted my heart.  I probably love him so much because I miss my dogs IMMENSELY and the hokie bird is fluffy like my dogs.  The other day my boyfriend, Andrew, and I were walking back from playing racquetball and we saw a fluffy skunk sauntering around (they are everywhere and NOT shy) and I felt the need to go pet it.  THAT is how much I miss my dogs.

hokie bird3. The FLYING cameras! Before college I didn’t go to any college or professional games so I have never experienced these flying (I found out soon after I exclaimed “FLYING CAMERAS” that they are held by cords…much less cool) cameras.

cameras4. This guy’s hat.  I just really liked it and wanted one so I took a photo.


I hope I am not the only one who loves the Lane Stadium view, the hokie bird napping, flying cameras, or cool hokie hats!  Haha- it is the little things that make the football experience great, right?!

Thanks so much for reading!! I appreciate it so much!! Have a wonderful day!!

Much Love,
Hadley Carter {happy hc}