Throughout my life, I have worked towards various goals and made plans along the way by accepting different jobs, going off to college, and making decisions to go outside of my comfort zone, but there’s a story that I, along with many others, don’t share so openly. There’s a story of triumph, tears, let downs, and ultimately rejection; there’s a story of no’s and not yet’s.
At 23, I feel like my story of no’s has been more extensive than I’ve ever led on because I have this mentality of continuous improvement so I shoot my shot for my dream ideals, which comes with a lot of big fat “sorry, you’re not it” letters.
Since coming home from Peace Corps, I realized for the first time in my life, I wasn’t in the rat race of society anymore. I was coming home, jobless and to live with my parents (first time since I was 17). I was coming home, broken hearted and decided to spend the next two months dedicated to healing and growing through therapy.
Now, I write this, saying I am thriving because my mind and spirit are allowing me to be, to trust in myself and my abilities, and to know that this is all part of the plan, but then, as my mind became healthier and more supportive. . .
this happened . . .
I had spent an entire month, waiting to hear back from a certain job that I had deemed “perfect” for me. I got an interview, spent time with the organization, and really showed who I was to the team, and thought that I was a no-brainer hire.
So, I waited.
And I waited.
I prayed, and I hoped.
Still, somewhere along the way, I found myself telling people about it as if my worth was equated with a title, with a job, with what I could produce or achieve.
So I waited a little more.
Then, I got the email and my heart dropped when I got into the car, realizing I had put all my eggs in this basket.
It read: “Thank you Ashley for taking the time to meet all of us and interview, but we have decided to go with someone else.”
My heart sunk, and tears overwhelmed me. So I cried so hard for two minutes– I couldn’t find my voice, and my heart raced through my chest; I let my world crash down around me and my mind dragged me through the mud for a few minutes as I dried my tears.
Now for the first time ever, I had no plans and I wasn’t waiting on anything, and that hit me in that moment. I felt like a failure.
As I sat in my car, a little numb and sad, I started to marry logic and emotion (thanks David for that reminder).
There was a reason why this job wasn’t the right fit for me and there was a reason why this no had to come; I am being groomed for something better.
I flipped down my driver’s mirror and looked at myself, makeup smeared and eyes puffy, and said to myself:
“You are a strong, capable leader.”
“You are destined to love, to be loved, to be depth.”
“Your light doesn’t diminish because someone’s inability to see it.”
That last affirmation stuck with me, and reminded me that this is all part of the plan. I look back at life and see that there were things I wanted so desperately, but now know that greater has come and gone since then. I am stronger, more transparent and well because of the no’s I’ve taken on.
Nobody wants to get rejected, and honestly, nobody even wants to talk about it. I let my circle know that it didn’t work out how I intended, but by using my network, other things, better things have transpired since then. BETTER. FULLER.
I can see that the job I deemed ideal had red flags that wouldn’t have served either one of us. I can see that I have a heart to serve, but it has to be healthy and logical.
I felt very compelled to share this because there’s so much societal pressure to preform, to achieve, and to have all the yeses.
That’s not reality though, especially when you are designing a life you truly love, one that inspires you.
I am here to say that I’m not settling, I’m not discouraged, and I’m not becoming small out of fear and you shouldn’t either.
Rejection is part of the process— so feel the emotion, harness it, and become stronger from it.
Stay Tuned, I will be sharing more of my views on rejection and my mindset on David Essel’s radio show live on March 26th at 5pm.