You know how when people tell you that you are really awesome – and you like kind of start believing it?
Yeah, about that.
So I thought I’d go ahead and grace the Journalism school at UNC-Chapel Hill with my awesomeness. I applied way back in November.
Yesterday, I got rejected. Oh.My.God. Are you serious? Okay, I am not particularly prideful as a rule. But…hello? I’m applying to finish my degree for a job I’ve been doing successfully for oh, I dunno, the past 7 years!
My essay was solid. Like leave you crying and inspired at the same time solid. I mean, really, Pulitzer-esque genius.
My 3.97 college GPA must not have been high enough above the curve either.
Pfft. But I’m not angry. I’m actually just really embarrassed. It’s like Obama going back to Chicago and applying to be a Community Organizer again and them saying “Naw, we’re not sure you’re qualified”.
Okay, maybe it’s a tad pretentious to include myself in the ranks of our nation’s President. But, it’s better than facing the reality that *maybe* I really wasn’t good enough.
So last night I cried. A lot. I don’t cry often. Thanks Zoloft for effectively turning me into a zombie, or a man, take your pick.
But boy did I bawl. I probably even lost a bit of water weight.
There I was, bathing Peter, sobbing like I’ve just lost my kitten when this happened.
P: “Mommy, you are crying your eyes.”
M: “Yes P, it’s okay, Mommy is just sad because the Mommy school told me that I can’t come.”
P: “What happened, Mommy.”
M: “I don’t know, sweetheart. They just told me no.”
P: “Mommy, are you stupid?”
M: “Maybe, a little bit.”
OMFG, I cried so hard after that. But in the morning light, that exchange is classically hysterical. Though I have no idea where he learned the word stupid – and by the way – Daddy did intervene and tell him that we don’t use that word and that Mommy is very smart. Cause we’re not totally horrible parents, I mean, at least he’s not.
The thing about all of this is that going back to school felt like my only ticket to reclaiming my identity – Debby Torres, PR guru extraordinaire.
So last night, it felt like the iron curtain of reality had fallen and I saw my professional career disappear.
I used the “feeling” words because my therapist says it’s important to distinguish between feelings and reality.
***See UNC, I CAN be taught!***
I guess in those first few hours post rejection I honestly believed that a piece of paper could somehow shape who I am.
But I control how I am defined, damnit. If I don’t have control of anything else (and many days it seems that way) I can at least control who I am. I refuse to relinquish that.
There’s no huge epiphany here. I’m still disappointed. I still hope I get a letter in the mail that says “Oops, our bad!”
But I have a bit more perspective than I did 18 hours ago. It’s a speedbump compared to what I’ve accomplished/survived. I will not slow down. I can’t. There’s too much momentum behind me to succeed. Maybe not down this path, but another.
In the meantime, I think I might go buy myself a Duke t-shirt and trot down Franklin street.