The stages of disappointment
While everybody reacts & processes differently, here's what my past few days have looked like:
I wasn't in the best mood that day to begin with, so my initial reaction was basically, "Of course. Why would I expect anything different? It's just more of the same right now." Not something I'm proud of, but that really was my first thought.
After I had a minute to collect my thoughts, I wanted to share the news. Rather, I didn't want to be asked 1,000 times - I would rather put it out there on my terms. First, I shared with my friends who helped me with my application, then I put it out to the Twitterverse. I wanted to truly congratulate those who got in, and I knew I was not the only person feeling disappointed, so I wanted to encourage those in the same boat as me. It took me a bit to craft a tweet to say what I wanted, but then I put it out there.
This also included liking & replying to many #PLN friends who did make it in, and especially those who didn't. It's so easy to feel like you are the only one, because more people share about their happy moments than their sad ones. I was motivated to break that lie down right away!
If you know me, you know that I usually don't feel at peace with things until I've had some time to think & process. That happened after I went home for the evening. I hate failing, and I hate being rejected, and even though I know that's not the end of the story, I was definitely feeling both of those things. I appreciate my friends who tweeted, texted, messaged, & talked me through some of my feelings, reminded me that there are many more chances, and drove home the fact that this is not a reflection on who I am. Even though I knew some of these things, it was still helpful to hear them. I also appreciated the reminders that it was okay to feel bad, as long as I didn't stay there forever.
4. Growing & Improving
This is the one I am struggling with right now. I want to grow & improve, and I would never say that my application is perfect, but I felt good about what I put together. So now I'm feeling a bit stuck with knowing how to improve it. I like having a plan, and I don't have one right now! I know it's still pretty fresh, and I think that the best thing I can do right now is step away from my application for a bit and come back to it later with fresh eyes. In the meantime, I want to do what I hope to do every day, regardless of anything I'm applying for - learn and grow as an educator and as a person!
5. Schedule & Logistics
I include this in here, because I didn't realize how much I was planning my summer around keeping those dates in July open! I am a year-round employee, so I work through the summer, and that was going to be my mini-vacation that I took off. Now that it's not happening, I need to make sure to give myself a break somewhere, but the dates are more flexible. This is my next step...figuring out what my summer will look like with Plan B!
The Surprising Benefits
While I still wish I had gotten in, there are a couple of good things that have come out of this:
Truly, my friends are amazing. The EDU community on Twitter is amazing. The amount of encouragement I have received is such a reminder that people care. In a world where the negative often gets amplified, I have heard nothing but positive messages. I have no doubt that these people are cheerleaders, encouragers, and a positive force in the lives of their students/colleagues/families as well, and that gives me such hope!
2. Inviting Others Onboard
I don't know if this would have happened either way, but I've heard from a couple of people that they are interested in applying for the next cohort, and there's something powerful about saying, "Yes! Let's go for it together!" It's been cool to see how even my "failures" have encouraged others to step out in their own journey.
Well, as I said in my original post, I don't have any regrets about applying, even with this outcome. The application pushed me to think creatively and become a better educator. I'll keep learning and connecting. I will keep working to make education better for kids and for all of us. And I'm pretty sure I will be applying again in the future. Who wants to join me?