Funny enough, I wrote this post title yesterday intending to write about an entirely different topic. One that I will revisit soon, I hope. But then it just seemed all too applicable to what happened since I woke up this morning…
I didn’t get the job.
I guess I should be more specific. Today, I had the humbling experience of finding out I didn’t get a job that I perhaps foolishly thought was a sure thing. I was meant to be consoled, I believe, by the fact that I was one of the two final candidates. But there’s this thing about employment – there are no silver medals. There was only one position and it did not go to me, despite a resume overflowing with the requested qualifications, an applicant brimming with enthusiasm and recommendation letters so effusive that I cried when I read one of them (at least I know one of my editors loves me.)
But wait – hold the phone, right? A job? Like at an office? The kind I have traversed continents and performed mental and emotional acrobatics in order to avoid? Why was I trying to snag one of those anyway? Well, this was a very specifically perfect-for-me position: it was related to one of my greatest passions (diving), in a field that fascinates me (magazine publishing), and it was custom-built for my attention span: just six weeks long. Not to mention, my bank account was all about me parking it for a little while to let my checking account cool off. But I didn’t get the job.
This is the second time in a year that I’ve been a finalist for a position that I very much wanted and very much didn’t get. The first one was a blow I recovered from quickly, as I had a pretty great Plan B – rather than going to write a dive guide about Malta I traveled Hawaii for six weeks. This time, I was so confident I barely bothered to entertain any other notions of how I might spend the bulk of my summer. In a few brazen daydreaming moments, I allowed myself to see this position as a stepping stone to what would surely be my future Oprah-like scuba media mogul-dom. My own diving dynasty, if you will.
I didn’t get the job.
I really, really wanted it.
Today, I will mourn. I will lament lost opportunities, fear for the uncertainty and vastness of my future, torture myself over what went wrong, and perhaps even shed a few tears proactively in anticipation of all the future rejections that life will undoubtedly serve me.
Tomorrow, I will start fresh. I will recite quotes about doors opening and closing, and the reasons things happen, and other inspirational poster fodder. I will start seeking the bright side, looking forward with a smile, and gingerly filling the new-found space in my calendar. I will take a deep breath, and I will remind myself of this:
I’m only twenty-three.