It feels like my entire life right now revolves around that one question.
Did I get in?
(For the record, I don't know yet.)
Last week I called my mom and dad to tell them about the fantastic company Christmas dinner I had just gone to. I started the conversation with, "Oh my gosh, mom, I have GOT to tell you something!" It wasn't until I heard her intake of breath and the pause after my statement that I realized my mistake. "Oh, sorry. No, not THAT yet. I still don't have any news on THAT."
This morning, after an evening filled with fantastic conversations with two of my favorite people, I called my boss on the way in to work and said, "Good morning! I was just heading to Subway for a breakfast sandwich and I wanted to know if my FAVORITE boss wanted one too?"
His response was "You're in a good mood! Did you get in or something?"
It took me a moment to understand. Get in? Like, to work? I mean, the roads aren't THAT snow covered. And I have 4WD. Of course I would get in.
And then I understood. "Oooh. No. I don't know anything yet."
Waterboarding has nothing on this kind of psychological torture.
Rumor has it that acceptance/rejection letters were coming out this week. I woke up on Monday just KNOWING that I didn't get in. I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I would take my last final on Thursday, and then drive home to a rejection letter in my mailbox that afternoon. I was so certain that when I saw the letter in my mailbox from a credit card company, my brain was CONVINCED that the return address read "Purdue University."
The relief that I felt when I realized it was a Chase logo literally made me weak in the knees.
Originally I thought that this weekend would be a weekend of drinking. Regardless of the outcome of my veterinary school application, I would be drinking to celebrate the end of the semester, and to drown my sorrows/celebrate my acceptance. Now? I've decided that this isn't an alcohol-inducing situation. It's more along the lines of a Ben & Jerry inducing situation. When I told my boss this with an air of acceptance, my boss likened my changing emotions to the stages of grief.
You know what? He's kind of right. You know...minus the whole death thing.
1. Denial – "I feel fine."; "This can't be happening, not to me."
Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the individual. This feeling is generally replaced with heightened awareness of positions and individuals that will be left behind after death.
Whatever. This isn't happening. What application? Am I waiting on something? I am not avoiding my email. I just don't check it very often during the day.
2. Anger – "Why me? It's not fair!"; "How can this happen to me?"; "Who is to blame?"
Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Any individual that symbolizes life or energy is subject to projected resentment and jealousy.
WTF?! WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE ARE THEY TO SEND REJECTION LETTERS THE FRIGGING WEEK OF CHRISTMAS?! WHAT THE HELL MAN? WHAT. THE. HELL! WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM?! A POX ON ALL OF THEIR FAMILIES. WHO DOES THIS?!
3. Bargaining – "Just let me live to see my children graduate."; "I'll do anything for a few more years."; "I will give my life savings if..."
The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow postpone or delay death. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. Psychologically, the individual is saying, "I understand I will die, but if I could just have more time..."
If they let me in, I'll go to church in thanks every Sunday for a whole year! I'll be the best vet ever! I'll save all KINDS of homeless animals!
4. Depression – "I'm so sad, why bother with anything?"; "I'm going to die... What's the point?"; "I miss my loved one, why go on?"
During the fourth stage, the dying person begins to understand the certainty of death. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. This process allows the dying person to disconnect oneself from things of love and affection. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer up an individual who is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be processed.
There's no point. I'm never going to get in. They're just going to reject me. My hopes and dreams will be crushed. My GPA/GRE score/personal statement/qualifications isn't/aren't good enough. I was stupid to even think of trying this. My life sucks.
5. Acceptance – "It's going to be okay."; "I can't fight it, I may as well prepare for it."
In this last stage, the individual begins to come to terms with his mortality or that of his loved one.
Whatever, dude. I'm totally going to Sicily if I don't get in. And I'm stocking the freezer with Ben and Jerry's for the inevitable crushing blow. Do your worst, admissions people! I am ready! I am prepared! You don't run my life! It's all going to be okay!! (just please let me in, okay?)
The hardest part for me (for reals, yo. This is like real emotion-type stuff right here) will be having to tell people that I didn't get in if that is, in fact, what happens. I know that pride goeth before the fall...yada yada yada. But if I could TELL the pride to go away, I would. What it does right now is make it very very difficult to admit weaknesses. It's not that I want to appear perfect. It's just that I don't like to fail. So generally, if I want something a whole whole lot, I make DAMN sure I get it. (If there was a dislike button on failure, I would click it over and over.)
My other coping mechanism? If I want something I can't control, I don't talk about it to many people. Because if I don't get it? Meh. I only have to deal with the crushing blow myself.
But this? This wasn't something that I could really keep to myself. I mean, people were going to ask why I went back to school. People have asked how I'm doing. Friends have kept close tabs on where I am in my journey, and right now I'm at the point where the situation is literally out of my control.
If I don't get in, I'm not sure how people can react that wouldn't be terrible. The pity? The awkward, "sorry I asked, here are some token words to make it better?" The hug? (FYI - that one will make me cry. Don't do it unless you want your shirt wet.)
And what can I say? "Oh well. There's always next time. I knew this would happen. No big deal?"
Problem is, everyone KNOWS it's a big deal. Including me. And honestly, I'm terrified right now. Ugh.
(I am fully aware that by writing this blog, the universe will make sure the situation is resolved in one way or another within 24 hours so then I have either post a retraction of all this freaking out, or a depressing "my life is over" blog. Be prepared.)