This is 27

Around this time last year, I saw my plans of studying abroad come to an untimely end after my scholarship applications were rejected.

I was understandably discouraged, but still determined to give it another go ’round. Staying true to that promise, I submitted my applications once more with hopes of a different outcome.

Today, I write this after facing rejection for the second time in a row.

Yes, that’s right. I didn’t get a scholarship this year either.


That awkward moment when your scholarship applications are rejected for the second year in a row. (Source: Know Your Meme)

I would be lying if I said reading through those generic rejection emails didn’t feel like a punch to the gut. As much as I would like to preach detachment, a redemption arc would have been particularly welcome at this point.

Feeling like one of your lifelong dreams is slipping through your fingers is also a bit disconcerting, to say the least. Although I’m trying to reason with myself by holding on to the mantra, “This isn’t a dead end, but a detour,” it’s still sad to have to put something you care about (and which you have fought for so wholeheartedly) on hold indefinitely.

In moments of clarity such as this one, I realize that this is just part of my story, a blip on the radar, a small inconvenience; that just around the corner, better things might be in store for me.

I certainly don’t know what meaning all of this holds (if any), but I hope it will make sense in due time. As a matter of fact, when I look at the circumstances that have brought me to this particular crossroads, I realize things eventually fall into place and someday, I will come to that coveted understanding which now eludes me.

The truth is that at 27, I still have a hard time letting go and exercising patience. Everything I do is imbued with this sense of urgency, and as irrational as I know it sounds, part of me feels like this can’t wait. Perhaps the hardest thing is coming to terms with the fact that it has to, regardless of how desperately I want it or how much of myself I have poured into this.

Saying yes opens you up to a world of possibilities, but that doesn’t only include the wonderful stuff you rave to your friends about, or the good news you share with your parents and siblings. It also encompasses the failed ventures, embarrassing faux pas, and many other ways in which you can (and do) fall flat on your face from time to time.

It’s neither pleasant nor empowering, much less encouraging, but this is what 27 looks like for me. In the interest of preserving my sanity, I will move forward with a new line of questioning.

To quote the wonderful Hallease:

What will I become from this failure?

I figure that in the face of this impasse, that will prove to be a more fruitful endeavor.

Besides, I’ve always reveled in a good challenge.