Yes, alright, Sherlock, I'll get right to the point. I heard back from King's College on Wednesday. And I didn't get in.
I can't really say I'm surprised, because grad school is insanely competitive and what exactly they're looking for in students is utterly up in the air. But I was sorely disappointed and saddened and was really glad I had bought Chipotle for lunch so I could wipe away my tears, put my computer aside, and eat a carnitas burrito bowl and focus on the deliciousness of that for a moment instead. After that, I gave myself two hours of moping on the couch, eating chocolate and listening to the Only Lovers Left Alive soundtrack, looking less artistically disheveled and morose than the cast of the film. Then I took a deep breath, pulled myself together, and realized I actually felt okay. (At least until a tour of our apartment came by and freaked me out because I totally forgot they were coming.)
If I didn't feel it important to share this information on my blog, I wouldn't really have mentioned it. I don't want to mull over it and if it weren't for the necessity of sharing news with friends and colleagues who maybe only know what's going on through this blog, I probably wouldn't. But I'm actually okay with it. I mean, not totally okay - I'm sad about it on some level and it's totally their loss and I'm peeved that Wednesday morning when I checked my application status before I got the email (because I had some weird sixth sense-y feeling that I would hear back this week and I was strangely right) they still hadn't reviewed my transcript or my second recommendation letter. Which means I've probably been rejected for a while, as that hasn't changed since April. But it is what it is. (Totally lame because that second letter was Professor Tandy's letter and I guarantee it was spectacular. Dammit all.)
I walked to a friend's apartment for a book club we started that Wednesday and as I was walking, I realized that there was a strange sort of bounce in my step and that I felt oddly relieved, like there was a burden off my shoulders. I felt a bit bad about being relieved, but it was there. It was just nice to finally have an answer to an unknown, as, for the past few weeks, as I'd been waiting to hear back from King's and time kept passing and I still heard nothing, I began to wondering if the program really was the right fit for me. Should I really go back to school right now or would it be better to do something else - get a job in London, jump right into theater work, continue to work at Target and try to write a novel? I assured myself this was doubt getting to me, but I also wanted to have a plan B. Besides, the more I listened to "Helplessness Blues" by Fleet Foxes, the more I realized that I was tired of waiting for "the men who move only in dimly-lit halls and determine my future for me" (okay, pretty over-dramatic, but I was getting pretty stir-crazy and scared and the weather we've had this spring was not helping). And then this week I listened to Field Report's "I Am Not Waiting Anymore," which I hadn't heard in a while, and found it oddly inspiring. I'd begun to dangerously pin my only plans on King's and, while there was nothing totally wrong with it, the fretting about it was starting to fatigue me. I was afraid and it was better to recognize that fear and do something proactive rather than try to ignore it. So I started coming up with alternatives, researching jobs in London and thinking about theater internships. I'd already been turned down for one this summer, but kept thinking about what I could do, although I felt odd focusing on something else. In the long run, it was good that I was starting to do that. It made this a lot easier than it could have been.
That's not to say this doesn't suck. It does. But I've never been so motivated by a rejection before. The night after I got the email, I was already applying for an internship in San Fransisco, applied for another the next day, inquired if yet another was still accepting applicants, and totally revamped my LinkedIn profile (not that it's ever been super useful to me, but it's out there, so why the heck not). Between all of the wonderful support I got from my friends and an overarching sense that I felt fine, I realized that while it's a shame about King's, I at least figured out what I wanted to in the process of applying for them and, now, I just need to find a different way to do it. That will have its own challenges but I'm not really down about it. I feel good. So don't feel sorry for me - because I don't, not anymore. I'm certainly not the first person to get rejected from a school and I'm sure as hell not the last. I'm not as upset as I thought I would be, it doesn't hurt as much as I feared it would, and it is nowhere near the worst thing that could happen to me. I am positive there is something else out there for me to do that could be a better fit for me. And a lot of other good things are happening - I got recognized by a team lead at Target for all of my hard work, I almost got a story published with a company a friend of mine works at, I'm finally reading William Thackeray's Vanity Fair after staring at it on my bookshelf for two years, my roommate got into Georgetown, a friend of mine is interviewing at Google, I've now got tickets to see Martin Freeman in Richard III in London this fall (this just happened and has not totally set in yet; I'm in that shocked, giddy stage of ticket purchasing), and spending some time in the Twin Cities and getting to better know the theater here sounds like an awesome plan B. So hey there, unexpected future. You always surprise me with your unpredictability. You know what I have to say to you?
Aw yeah. Let's do this. And if you know anyone in need of a dramaturg, I'm your girl ;)