“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”
This is something I really need to work on, for I have great expectations. I repeatedly invest myself emotionally into life outcomes that I hope for; such is the life of an optimist. For the most part things usually work out for me, but when they don’t, the disappointment is crushing.
Six weeks ago I submitted an application. It was an application for an APA scholarship and admission to a PhD program. APA scholarships are highly competitive. Ridiculously so. And this particular research project? Well. It is everything I could ever wish for in a research program. The idea? Mine. The framework? Mine. The proposed research plan? Mine. This project is 100% me. It is the perfect blend of an unlikely pair: Technology and Psychology, my two careers. My skill set was made for this project. Everything I have done professionally has led me towards this path…
To say that I am invested in the outcome of this application would be a gross understatement.
My career is set to take on a whole new incredibly exciting direction. It is going to be amazing!! (see that? It is ‘going to be’ – proof of my great expectations!). It may sound ridiculous, but my happiness in myself, and with my life in inextricably linked to the outcome of this application.
Dramatic, huh? Yep, that’s me. *sigh*
Ok, so I realise there is a bit of a problem here. As the outcome of the application has been drawing closer, I’ve been doing a lot of self-talk (it’s a never ending conversation over here in my head)… goes something like this:
Optimist: I can’t wait for the email that offers me the PhD scholarship!!! It’s all so exciting!
Realist: Jane Jane Jane, you may not get an offer. Don’t expect an offer. Prepare for disappointment.
Optimist: But I feel it in my bones! This year has been hard, and I really think that things are going to start going my way soon! I really do!
Realist: Jane Jane Jane, be realistic. There were over 120 applications, and there are only 9 APA’s. What are the chances that you’ll get one?
Optimist: 100% chance! I will get one!
Realist: Ugh. Good luck… I hope I don’t have to say ‘I told you so…’
See the optimism I am up against? It’s infallible.
I re-read my application last night, and apart from one glaring (albeit small) error, it is an application that I am proud of. I did my best. I gave it a red hot go.
I will find out any time in the next two weeks. It could be tomorrow. It could be in a week. It could be in two weeks. Who knows.
All I know is that if I do get my offer, I will be so ecstatic that I may actually spontaneously combust with excitement.
If I don’t? Well… you will all need to hold me.