“Well, this is disappointing…”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve uttered those words. I’ve faced disappointments at work, with friends and relationships, with family, and with life in general. Disappointments suck but they are inevitable. They can be simple or they can be tough to face. I think the most important part of the disappointment is how you handle everything that follows it.
“…this wasn’t what I planned or prepared for…”
So, I want to tell you a story. It’s a story about me and what I wasn’t sure of and how I’m pretty sure I aced something and had such high hopes for what was to come afterwards that when it didn’t happen I was let down and felt like everything was lost.
I do not handle rejection well. I’m human and a woman, which the 2 of those is a lethal combination when you’ve struggled with confidence and weight issues and what other people think about you. I hate letting people down. I hate feeling like I can accomplish something only to have it fall apart before I can finish it and see it through. I hate feeling like I’m not pulling my weight to make things happen. As much as I wish I were Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus, I know I’m a Martha busily working away in the kitchen trying to impress Jesus from afar. You know what I hate most? Disappointing my parents, sisters and friends.
So, I’m a graduate student right? (no seriously, am I a grad student? Sometimes I can’t remember). I’m a graduate student who knows exactly how much student loan money is out in her name. That number is so huge and I wish it were lower…or rather, I wish I enjoyed all the things that happened to make that number possible. I found out that I was invited or selected to participate in graduate assistantship selection for the 2015 fall semester. Did I remember this application I filled out? No. I had no idea. So I just took that as “Oh. Huh. OK! I mean who wouldn’t love the opportunity to work with undergraduate students and possibly get a little help with school? Thanks Jesus.” I prepped. I prepared. I studied interview questions and practiced in the mirror. I missed class for what I felt was possibly important. I connected with people and felt like I did a good job of getting to know other candidates and was never with the same group. I did everything that people would possibly want in their GA. I went through the interview. Felt like I did well and answered the questions was able to be myself. My interview lasted 26 minutes. I left feeling like “Ok. I guess I did well? I don’t know. Do I even want this? What am I doing? What if I don’t get…No. YOU put this in my lap. You can’t possibly leave me here with nothing. God… Seriously. What is the point?” You want to know what happened next? I went back to real life, with the dwindled bank account and bills. I honestly just left it all out there and moved on. Disappointment sucks the most when you’re not expecting it. I’ve counted on things so much in the past that when it doesn’t happen, I sort of lose it. Last night, I had a 2 people from my classes ask me “So did you get the call?” and I just looked at them puzzled. Their faces answered my next question without me even asking. “Sooooooo…I’m guessing they made their calls already?” to which I was answered with “Ohhhh. Yeah. I guess so. I’m not sure though. I had nothing to do with it”. I was able to hide my disappointment in my first class but it was the second class that just made me want to quit and cry. I am a confident person. I don’t quit. It may have taken me YEARS to actually earn my undergraduate degree, but I sure as hell am not quitting my graduate degree before its done. My second class drags ON AND ON and seems like it never ends. Oh, I guess I forgot to mention that I got a speeding ticket for 10 over when I was maybe 3 over AND the guy in my team tried to get the rest of our team in trouble with a professor for “not pulling our weight”. I’ve never wanted to ram my head through a wall more than in that moment. I just wanted to go home last night. When I walked to my car, the tears were streaming down my face. I tried to hold it together, but it was dark out and no one was out walking around to see a 28-year old girl cry into her book bag. I sat in my car for a moment and just said “What am I going to do? I literally have no idea what to do. How am I going to pay for school? I have to pay my taxes and I got super screwed last year, and I HAVE TO MAKE RENT. I CAN’T PAY TAXES AND RENT, Jesus! I don’t know what to do. I went through this when I would’ve rather done anything else. Why?”
The only thing I can take away from this is that maybe there’s something else I’m supposed to be focused on. I’m supposed to nail down an internship next semester in a counseling setting. I don’t know if I could’ve done that and have a GA position. I want to be involved in my church and maybe being involved somewhere else would’ve kept me from that. I want to go on dates…and maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t have had time to spend getting to know someone dating could happen with. I love Netflix…no, no. I digress. 🙂 All this to say, disappointment is a part of life. I wish I could tell you I’ve never been disappointed before, but that’s not true. I’ve seen more disappointment than most and I’m here because of the continued pursuit of Jesus during disappointing times. Disappointment is what I’d like to call an opportunity to grow and mature. Sure, it may suck, but after you get past the most disappointing part, there’s life and fun again. I’m drinking coffee out of my Tinkerbell mug with no makeup on in running shorts while watching Rachael Ray… If this is the other side of disappointment, I’m ok with that. Why? Because I have unexpected opportunities coming my way…
So, Thank you Jesus for walking me through the disappointment of one thing so I can expect something greater and better than what I thought. Why? Because that’s who you are.
Don’t give up when you’re disappointed. Keep moving on… It’ll happen when you least expect it.