Amid the celebrations of those who learned in the past few days they passed the July bar exam, it’s worth noting words of encouragement from someone who failed on the first try—and went on to pass and become a successful and respected lawyer.

Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia GC Robert Wright Smith Jr., a graduate of Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law, warmed some spirits with an online confessional about overcoming failure. He started with this tweet: “20 yrs ago I found out that I failed the Bar Exam. One of the darkest moments in my life. I also turned 26 at the same moment. My parents had driven 7 hrs through the night to be with me. Hoping to celebrate both. Instead, they were there to comfort & encourage me. #gratitude”