Everybody has dreams. Everybody has a perfect life pictured in their head that they are trying to achieve. For me, that dream started with my attendance at American University in Washington, D.C.
For those of you who have been tagging along for a while now, you know exactly how important that dream was to me. For those of you just joining us, let me explain. It was so important that it did not feel like a dream; it felt like destiny. That is how positive I was that that was where I was meant to be.
I am writing this article to tell you all that I will not be going to Washington, D.C., in the fall. I will not be going anywhere in the fall.
Even as I’m writing that, it makes me want to cry. To say I’m disappointed would be the biggest understatement of the year. I have known for a long time that I don’t belong here in Utah. There has been this little voice in my head whispering that to me since I was twelve. I have been waiting for two years, almost three, to finally make that move, and now I can’t. It’s devastating.
It’s important for you to understand that the reason I am not going is out of my hands. It has to do with that green devil we all have to deal with: money. College, unfortunately, is astronomically expensive, and it puts a damper on so many kids’ dreams of higher education. Too many, if you ask me.
But I digress.
You’re probably wondering why I am telling you all this when this blog is supposed to be about my dreams and journeys, not failures and heartbreak. What I have realized through all this is that failures and heartbreak are a part of dreams and journeys. You cannot have one without the other, no matter how much we all wish we could. The question isn’t “if we fail”; it’s “when”. We are all going to fail. We are all going to fall short. What matters is how you act in the face of that, how you pick yourself back up and try again.
And you can bet that I am going to try again.
But that knowledge doesn’t always make it easy accepting defeat. It doesn’t mean that my heart isn’t in pieces on the floor, or that another little piece falls to my stomach every time I have to tell someone that I am not going. That right there is the true meaning of the journey. We have to figure out how to cope with failure, heartbreak, setbacks, etc. To be honest, I am still trying to figure out how to do so. But what I have realized is that all you can do is take it one step at a time, one day at a time.
I set out writing this article with the intent to give you advice on how to handle rejection or failure, to tell you what I have learned. You see, the hardest part of dealing with this failure has been trying to reconcile the plan in my head with what is unfolding in my life. I had been so sure, so completely convinced, that D.C. was where I was meant to be, and this was how I was going to get there. Clearly, I had been wrong about something in there. I keep telling myself it is because I wouldn’t be able to find a good job out there. Coincidentally (or maybe not so coincidentally), I was offered a promotion at my job just a few weeks before I learned that I would be staying in Utah. Now, I just keep telling myself that I had to take this promotion in order to get a good paying job in D.C. that would allow me to support myself. If you ask me, I was wrong about how I get there. Maybe American University isn’t the right school. Maybe now isn’t the right time. I couldn’t tell you what is going to happen, but I can tell you that I am not going to let this stop me. I am not going to take this “no” and settle for a life I never wanted. I am going to get back up and try again. And I will probably fail at something else. But I will never give up on my dreams. That, I can promise you.
I hope this made sense, and I hope it helped you understand me even more. I hope you’ll stick around and watch me grow some more; hopefully, I’ll be able to teach you a thing or two, too. But I don’t want you to worry. My crown may have slipped, but I am straightening it. Now, it’s back to business.