Moving on from Rejection

It’s never easy getting past rejection. It can cause us to question ourselves, wonder if we made the wrong decisions or even tempt us to give up. But rejection is not the end of the story. It can be the beginning of a new, exciting path to our destination!

Yesterday, I received my first official rejection letter from the 5 medical schools I applied to. There was something about seeing the words “I regret to inform you…” that was so stark and disappointing. Yet, at the same time, it gave me a sense of closure and peace that this avenue had closed and it was time to turn my mind to other paths.

In the past, I would have viewed this rejection letter as a personal failure and stewed over it for some time.  Now, I am learning more and more to turn to God for His strength in my weak moments and trusting in His grace to see me through life’s disappointments and struggles. And I am reminded that obstacles and closed doors are part of the journey of perseverance and staying the course.

I have confidence in my ability to get into medical school and I am so grateful for my friends, family and readers who continue to support me on my quest to becoming a doctor. No matter how long it takes, I plan to get there one day!

My husband called me from work shortly after I received the letter to check on how I was doing, “We keep going, I’m behind you all the way“.

My brother sent me an email.”We proceed. You will go to the place that sees and places full value on you. There you will be celebrated and thrive. Tuendelee! We’ll get there!”

So as I wait until January 2016 to hear back from the other medical schools I applied to, I take comfort in knowing that God has the perfect plan for me and it will all work out as it should. In the meantime, I have innumerable blessings that I am grateful for and that I plan to enjoy!

If you have a goal, particularly one that is taking a long time to achieve, don’t let rejection or delays stop you from persevering. Keep going! Once we get to our destination, it will be all the more sweeter for the challenges we were able to overcome to get there!

 

Rising from a Stumbling Block

I am not concerned that you have fallen — I am concerned that you arise” Abraham Lincoln

When working towards a goal, there will be moments when you may hit a stumbling block. I had a moment like this last Friday when I learned that one of the medical schools I had applied to sent out their interview invites…but I did not receive an invitation. There were only 5 spots available at this medical school for an out-of-province applicant like me. Still, I was really hoping to get a positive response from this school.

I haven’t officially received a rejection and there is still hope that an invitation could come if someone else declines their interview. But somehow the news hit me harder than I expected. In fact, it felt like I hit a brick wall and my confidence in my abilities plummeted.  I decided that I had to tackle my state of mind and not let myself get into a downward spiral of negativity. Obstacles will come our way to test us and when they do, we have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and keep going.

My brother encouraged me with these words, “Tomorrow is a new day and you are blessed…Let’s keep going until we find out where we’re sending you to become a doctor!” and my husband said, “This is not the end…you will get where you are meant to be.” 

I will now have to wait until January for news from the other medical schools I applied to. The wait feels painstakingly slow sometimes but I know that I just have to be patient. My prayer has always been that we will end up at the right place for my family and I to flourish.

It’s not always easy to talk about our obstacles and challenges, but it can really help to tap into our support network to give us encouragement when we feel that we are running out of steam. Rejection or failure can be such a discouraging feeling, but it is not the end. It is only the beginning of another chance to find the path to success.

So don’t give up, don’t give in to the voices in your head telling you that you cannot do it. You can! Don’t be afraid to talk about your struggles. We need others to help us get back on track and get our eyes fixed on the prize. Whatever your goals may be, don’t let the amount of time it is taking discourage you from continuing. You will get there eventually and it will be worth every effort you put in!

We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated” Maya Angelou

Image courtesy of powerlisting.wikia.com
Image courtesy of powerlisting.wikia.com

See How Much I Love You

When my husband and I got married in 2007, one of the things he pledged to me (aside from a lifetime supply of chocolate) was that he would write me a note every day for the rest of our lives. I was impressed and waited to see if he would pull it off. He was inspired by a book called “Night Light, a devotional for couples” written by Dr. James and Shirley Dobson.

Within the first few pages of this book was a little excerpt describing the love between grandparents. They would play a daily game with each other where they wrote the word “shmily” somewhere around the house for each other to find. It was an expression and reminder of their love for each other.

They dragged “shmily” with their fingers through the sugar and flour containers to await whoever was preparing the next meal. They smeared it in the dew on the windows overlooking the patio…”Shmily” was written in the steam on the bathroom mirror, where it would appear after every hot shower. At one point, my grandmother even unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper to leave “shmily” on the very last sheet” [pg. 16].

My husband has been true to his word and somehow a note (usually a brightly colored post-it) has materialized in some unusual corner of the house. Sometimes it is in a kitchen cupboard where I find it when I’m cooking. Sometimes I find it rolled up in a box of cereal. Sometimes I find it hidden behind the leaves of one of our house plants as I’m watering it. When we travel, the note makes its way into a sock or a hidden pocket in the suitcase. We are certain someone might find one of these notes in a hotel room, left behind by mistake. Hopefully, it will brighten their day. Today, I found my note in my shower cap!

Caleb, our son, is starting to catch on. He proudly presents pink notes he has discovered and says, “Mummy, here’s a note from daddy”.

I sometimes joke that I will enter my husband into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most number of personal notes ever written. Since 2007, when we got married, they now number close to 3000 notes! I have kept them safely in a box in our bedroom hoping that one day the kids will read through them and know that their parents loved each other very much. I love these notes, they brighten up my day, motivate me, make me laugh, and remind me that I am appreciated and loved.

“S-h-m-i-l-y…..See How Much I Love You”

A note of encouragement from my husband
A note of encouragement from my husband
Our wedding day, Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec, May 2007.
Our wedding day, Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec, May 2007.
Our wedding day, Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec, May 2007.
Our wedding day, Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec, May 2007.
Our traditional wedding, Nairobi Kenya, May 2007
Our traditional wedding, Nairobi Kenya, May 2007

The Medical School Journey Continues…A Family Adventure!

“Mummy, is this the paper that will help you become a doctor?”

My son Caleb had discovered my stack of practice interview questions on the dining room table. The cover sheet had a picture of a stethoscope on it. I don’t know how he made the connection but it was a powerful moment for me as I contemplated the fact that my son is now old enough to understand that I am pursuing a dream to become a physician.

“You’re right Caleb.  I don’t have an interview yet but mummy has decided to start practicing early. Either way, it’s fun and gets my mind whirring!”

No matter where this med school journey takes us, even if we have to move, I’m so grateful and excited to be facing this with my family. My husband continually amazes me with his unwavering support. He wants to test me on at least one interview question a day. Last night, after a long day at work, he still managed to muster some energy to practice some interview questions with me. He didn’t go easy on me! When I was tempted to giggle, he looked me straight in the eye and said, “pretend this is the real interview day, no joking around!”

So here’s to a new phase of the medical school journey. It will be some months before I know if I have received an interview invite. But no matter the outcome, I’m enjoying the process, especially having family go through this with me! It really feels like an adventure!

Image courtesy of iosphere from freedigitalphotos.net
Image courtesy of iosphere from freedigitalphotos.net

The MCAT is Officially Done!

I am excited and very relieved that the MCAT is finally over! The day went smoothly. Even though it was very early when I left the house, it was already bright and sunny. Hubby and the kids were sleeping peacefully upstairs. There was no traffic and I found parking with ease. We were a small group of about 10 examinees at this testing center and I got to talk to some really great people. It was nice to have a common goal, together facing the nervousness and the marathon ahead. It’s amazing to think that months of studying culminated in an almost 7 hour long exam. I did my best on the exam and I am trusting in God that it will turn out well. Ultimately, I really believe that my family and I will end up at the right medical school.

After the exam, I got back home to two little munchkins hugging my legs excitedly and hubby holding up a home-made “we love you” sign. I felt like a queen being welcomed back from an exotic voyage on the high seas! A huge load has been lifted from my mind now that the exam is over. We can once again see what the dining table looks like now that there are no papers, exam prep books and flash cards strewn across it! (I have a study desk in the basement but I often ended up studying at the dining table where I have a nice view of the sunny backyard). Now, I have to be patient as I wait for my MCAT results to come out in early September.

Being nerdy, I think I will actually miss studying. So, to keep my mind active, here’s the latest addition to my reading list that I plan to get started on tomorrow.

 book

And the plan for this evening? The kids are in bed and it’s time to snuggle with hubby on the couch and watch a movie. The journey to medical school continues. I am so happy to be making progress towards my goal of becoming a doctor! Keep your dreams alive!