Thursday, 16 November 2017

Compromise/Dealing with rejection

Good afternoon or whatever-time-you-are reading this, I am Edwina  Mapenzi and I have your daily strike update. Daily is pushing it, but just flow with me. Cue whatever music score that comes with a news bulletin. No news from my campus as yet except these snide, "There's class next week" emails but a couple of campuses have had their exams postponed indefinitely. My major concern is a great majority of comrades are pretty much done with coursework, while we, and when I say we, I mean the university that was closed for the better part of October, hint, hint have barely scratched the surface. What kind of tomfoolery is this?

There is still a smidgen of hope that I cling to so firmly, my knuckles are going pale. Of course its amount, less than yesterday's but it still lingers. I stand my ground, a lot can be covered in five weeks, give or take.

Today let's talk about dealing with rejection, a big, fat, no just hurled straight at you as if to mimic a bulls eye. The older you get you realize there are more variations to rejection than just the traditional no.

In my teens, it was mostly boys. Their No stung the most. So powerful was their sting the whole school had word about it, sometimes the grapevine went all the way down to the school administration;principles, vice principles, everyone. Of course, while nearly everyone in my circle had boo-thangs I wouldn't dare to so much as dream of having a 'little friend'. Not with the reins my mom had fastened around me so that's a No I am no expert in.

If there is a No I remember a little to vividly for comfort, would be the rejection letter I got from Africa Leadership Academy(ALA). I think I still have the print-out lurking somewhere in my room. I still remember the first line going something like, "With the competition pool so stiff this year, we have had to make some hard decisions..."They had the audacity at the end of that email to tell me to continue to strive to be the change that Africa needs in the  future, now how was I supposed to go off and do that if they weren't going to have me on board. This is pure bitterness talking by the way. Of course, as the years went by, the wound has healed and whereas even talking about it would have me feeling like an emotional wreck, now I go the extra  mile and even laugh about it.

The night I got the email, I distinctly remember waking up in the middle of the night, a school night for that matter and trying to distinguish whether it was indeed reality or just a really poignant dream.  Of course I bawled myself to sleep and woke up with a headache, I felt the pain of rejection as a heaviness in my throat and chest, a stiffness in my legs and the zoo in my stomach. I put in the work, yet I would have nothing to show for it.

Getting to the second round of the application process, high key, still remains one of my greatest achievements. Ironically, in as much as seventeen-year-old me wouldn't dream of saying this, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

That just goes to show that there is life after rejection. Of course, in the moment being buried alive is a pretty viable option. Once you get over that hump like I did, you realize rejection besides being a part of life is a rite of passage.The next year I reapplied and got rejected in the first round. Not the happy ending you were expecting at least, not the conventional type but this time round I just moved on as if nothing happened.

Over the years, I have been rejected from so many things I would run out of fingers just counting them for you. Some sting less than other but all of them have come with a valuable lesson in tow.

Right now, I am looking at things from a whole new angle. For instance, whereas I think I have arrived when it comes to the writing game, I may have only just punched the ticket. This may just be the Universe implying that there is so much more to learn before I get my big break,a break that I will be undoubtedly ready for when the time comes. It could also be the wake up call that reminds me that feeling ready and being ready do not mean the same thing. So whereas I feel that I am ready to take on the world, the world may just show me whose boss when push comes to shove. Or, where I think I can be a sponge no more I haven't quite swelled up past capacity.

Here I am wanting the sun, moon, stars and whatever else the solar system has up for grabs yet I can hardly handle what's on my plate. Up until yesterday I mistook complacency and satisfaction for settling. When in reality it's just appreciation. Sure, I don't smile from ear-to-ear when I go into a work neither am I just an absolute delight to work with, although I don't believe that for one minute, but its comforting to know that I have a firm base of financial support. I have to focus, keep my eyes on the prize of graduation and not just moving the  tassle from one side to another but graduate with the best attainable grades. A little birdie tells me stability will be a major boost. But I still wouldn't be mad if I got that Google internship, *nudge,nudge*.

Then comes that pesky word, compromise. It gives of the vibe that you are taking an L and it sure as heck feels like it as well. So, what, I got rejected from the school of my dreams, the experience of being with such vibrant young minds, as corny as it sounds, is a worthy compromise. No feedback from my dream jobs, I still tried anyway, no what-ifs here. Paths of unchartered road still lay ahead, if I am being Positive Patsy all good stuff just waiting to be discovered if I am being a realist, the good,the bad and don't forget the ugly.

Where do we go from  here? Embrace the space and keep trying. You can only get so many No's until eventually that one Yes comes all the way through and the feeling it comes with is inexplicable. For now, why don't you say we cushion the blow of the No!

Have a good one!

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