Friday, May 18, 2012
Accepted and Acceptance
Yesterday I got the news that I was accepted to the graduate program for Creative Writing at Chapman University in the Fall of 2012.
Needless to say, I was overcome with emotion. I was downstairs alone and Piper was napping. Gavin had gone off to hang out with some friends and I opened an email from the admissions advisor I have been working with for the past few months. I sent her a note a half hour earlier asking when I might get my letter (via old fashioned snail mail) because I checked my status online and "the decision had been mailed" as of May 14.
That was Monday.
Yesterday was Thursday and I had been checking the mailbox frantically, waiting for the postman to deliver this invaluable bit of information, information that might change the course of my life. I literally had to leave the house to distract myself from dancing around outside in the driveway with anxious anticipation.
She sent a rather vague note with a letter "regarding my admission" attached. I opened the attachment, which incidentally took about four minutes to download. I was watching Howard Stern on "The Talk" when it finally popped up. I paused the show, looked at the screen of my iPad and saw the word "Congratulations." I read it about 5 more times and let it sink in, then I burst into tears. I had no idea that I would feel the same emotions I expected to feel if I had not been accepted. I was hyperventilating and crying like a toddler who just lost bottle privileges.
I immediately looked up to my mantle, saw the photos of my Dad and Susie and in my tremendous joy, felt a surge of sadness that I couldn't share this moment with them. This incredible moment that was INSPIRED by them. I sat for a minute and calmed myself. I called Chris to share the news with him and he was, as always, completely supportive and excited for me. I burst into the second set of tears in five minutes.
The next call I made was to my Mom. She has always had faith in me and encouraged and supported my dreams and decisions in life. I couldn't wait to share the news. You can guess what happened next...yes, more tears and joy. Then I called Cheryl (Chris's mom) and received the same warm and supportive reception.
Then I called my editor, better known as one of my Ya Ya's (or a BFF to use a term the kids say) Jenn, who couldn't have been prouder. She was almost as excited as I was. Were it not for her careful editing skills, I may not have turned in my best work. Jenn, here is a heartfelt thank you on my blog, but you can bet your sweet ass you will get one in the book.
I called many more friends and family members to share this news and each one helped to encourage and boost my spirits even more. I know that this journey will be one filled with challenges but I have been blessed with a support system unlike any other. For that, I am beyond grateful.
But the truth is, I believed in myself. I worked really really hard for this and up until about a week ago, I assumed that I would get in without an issue. I don't know if it was my inflated ego but I really felt like it was a no-brainer.
As the days grew closer to the actual acceptance decision, I started to have some doubts. I started to think that maybe I wouldn't get in. Maybe I didn't have what they were looking for. Maybe it wasn't in the cards for me.
My stomach was in knots as I thought about it more and more. I then realized that I had done everything in my power, put my best work out there, and now I had to let the Universe take over. I had to surrender control and expectations and be willing to accept the answer, whatever it might be.
Wednesday morning, after checking the mailbox for the third time, I decided to head out to yoga. On my way there, I did a lot of self talk, I mean literally, out loud, self talk. Some may call it a prayer, which that may be what it is. I just told myself that I had to be open to whatever the Universe had to offer. And if that meant I wasn't going to get into Chapman, well then I had to accept it.
I went to class and moved through the postures in a 100* room filled with sweaty yogi's, and breathed it all in. I struggled that day with many of the asanas but yoga has taught me that acceptance is part of the practice. You are exactly where you are supposed to be, right then and there. Turning to my other passion, turning to the gift that is yoga, allowed me to focus and ground myself and it calmed my frazzled nerves.
I was so grateful when I got the news I had been hoping for, but that isn't always how it works out, is it?
I think we all think about acceptance as coming from others, but the real meaning of acceptance is through ourselves. Being open and honest with yourself, opens the door to acceptance. Acceptance of what is, what will be and what has been, is one of the keys to awareness, change and happiness.
As I go through this journey, I am certain that I will have to be full of acceptance. There might be people who don't like my work, I might not get straight A's, I might struggle with a Shakespearean class. In the grand scheme of life, these are minor hiccups. If I can learn to accept the little disappointments in life, maybe the big ones won't seem so horrible and the great gifts in life, the gifts that far exceed the disappointments, I will accept those with grace and gratitude.
So with that said, I urge you to accept yourself right where you are this minute and then decide if you want, or need, to change. Look in the mirror and examine what you see. Is the image the person you want to be? Are you following your dreams? Are you following your passion?
These are big questions for which you may not have the answers. Start looking for them and don't be afraid to try something new. This is your life, right? Who are you living it for? As my other Ya Ya and dear friend Jen (and some guy named Gandhi) would say "Be the Change You Want to See in the World," and ACCEPT the wonderful being that is you.
I want to thank my extraordinary family and friends, once again, for your unwavering support and love.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.