Failures Fuel Growth - Grad School Edition
This morning I woke up to an email from the Admissions Center for the graduate program that I applied to attend this coming September.
My heart started POUNDING. I couldn't even open it! I ended up eating breakfast and getting ready before I decided to face that email.
I never intended on pursuing my education any further after graduating from UNR last December. I intended on getting married, starting a full-time job somewhere, and going from there. Grad school wasn't on my radar.
After getting dumped right after graduation, moving home, and facing a lot of other problems that all seemed to appear at the exact same time, I thought about grad school.
At a time when I was so lost, vulnerable and sad, I was understandably and desperately searching for my purpose. What is my purpose if I don't have my boyfriend, my job, my home in Reno, my life plan that I was so sure would come to pass? I thought about my options. Grad school seemed like a very good plan for me.
I love school. I excel in school. Heck, I graduated college in less than 3 1/2 years because I love taking a lot of classes at once and filling my brain to the brim with new and exciting information.
I spoke to my dad who agreed to help me fund my Master's degree in Mass Communications. I spent countless hours filling out the application, paying to take my GRE test (which sucked), getting three letters of recommendation, attending two separate interviews, and attending church. (I applied to BYU Provo.)
I've been very excited the past two months because for whatever reason, I just assumed I would be getting into BYU. I'm smart. I have a rockin' resume. WHY WOULDN'T THEY WANT ME?! Never once did it really even occur to me that I might not even get accepted...
I've been planning in my head. I've been getting ready to find a cute little apartment, move to Utah in August, and spend the next two years obtaining my degree. I've been excited and I finally felt like I had begun to understand what I need to do with my life. I finally felt like I was able to separate myself from my past and begin my rebirth, if you will.
Get a masters degree. Get a very high paying job. Meet the man of my dreams (probably in 2 days because let's be real I am applying for BYU), get married (again, probably like 2 weeks after meeting him HA), have children, and live happily ever after.
I was, however, stressing about my health, because it has been so poor lately. I worried that once I lived on my own, it would be even harder to manage my condition. However, the past couple of weeks my health has rapidly increased and I've been feeling 99% like myself. This only reinforced my belief that grad school was the right choice for me!
So, I opened the email.
I logged into my student account to view my admission status. I was pretty nervous, but in the back of my mind I already knew that I was about to get an acceptance letter. I just knew. I wasn't worried.
Imagine my surprise when I read the words "We regret to inform you..."
Yep. I most definitely did not get into my program.
First came the shock, then slight disbelief, then sadness. I called my mom to tell her and started to cry.
45 seconds later (not exaggerating), I felt totally fine again.
Sometimes I think I have no soul. But here's what really happened.
I felt peaceful. If there's anything I have learned over the past few months of being thrown 5000 struggles, it is that everything happens for a reason. We can't see the big picture. There's no sense being upset about things we have no control over, no matter how hard it is to accept.
If anything, I felt a little bit of relief because I realized that this was not what I am supposed to be doing with my life (right now, anyway). I began to realize all of the down-sides (I hate being cold and Utah is freezing, I don't want to be so far away from family, I don't even need a master's degree to do what I want to do with my life, etc.) and I started to look on the bright side.
I've learned to kind of just trust in both God and the Universe to dictate my life. To try to detach from my emotions and go with the flow. Every time I've felt defeated by life it is because things did not live up to MY expectations or happen on MY agenda. But what the heck do I know? Apparently, nothing.
I'm not going to try to figure out my entire life. It only sets me up to be disappointed when things don't go as planned. I absolutely do not want to spend any more time being frustrated and miserable.
After reading that email, I went and applied for another job--I got the job. Now, I will be working two jobs (full time) that I really enjoy in order to 1) make money so I can move out, and 2) distract myself from everything going on in my life!
I felt success for the first time in a long time after that interview and being offered a position. It was like God tossed me a little nugget of hope to help me and remind me of what I already know.
I felt like I was finally thrown a bone in life, because it just seems like I have just been thrown 6 pounds of crap in my life lately. Positive mindsets are important, but even with a positive outlook on my life I cannot deny that I have been enduring an extremely rough patch as of late.
I don't know where I will be in September, but it won't be in Utah. It won't be at school. But it will be whatever I'm supposed to be doing at that moment in time, and I won't question it.
Why should I spend my next few months miserable when I should be embracing the present moment and absorbing everything life has to offer? I won't. I simply refuse to be miserable.
I am focused on making myself the best I can be so that next time an opportunity presents itself I am ready to take it head-on. I have a lot to be grateful for right now. Jobs, a home, freelance work, family...I'm very lucky despite not often feeling that way. Sure, health is a big part of life and mine isn't so hot right now, but I can't have it all. I'm not Beyonce.
I'm also so inspired every day by people I haven't even met in real life--my Instagram followers, Youtube subscribers, and blog-readers are constantly encouraging me and helping me stay happy. I get countless messages every single day that always turn my day around. I'm so lucky to have that.
I'm going to let this perceived "failure" push me to continue plucking along and pushing myself in new ways. I'm excited to see where life will take me.