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Friday, January 3,2014

What Would Rosey Do?

By Jonna Shutowick. M.S. Ed.  

Writing this column for the past ten years has been a symbiotic way for me to examine life’s little twists and turns, while hopefully providing insight and entertainment to readers as well.


But last month, when life threw me a disappointing curveball, I really had to dig deep to find the bright side. It wasn’t the end of the world or anything; Just a huge, completely unexpected blow to my ego and my game plan, that had me walking around in a fog for about a day and a half.

Particularly unnerving was how much time I spent deciding to take the plunge. For the better part of the last two years I’ve been toying with the idea of going back to school. I’ve taken classes, visited schools, interviewed professionals and professors weighing pros and cons; doctorate versus masters; writing versus history; now versus later. Only to make up my mind, put all of my eggs in one basket (I know!) only be told, “Thank you for your interest.....Take a hike, sister.” I was so sure I was on the right path. I had selected where I would go to school and what degree I would get. Never did I consider that the school might not select me! If this sounds cavalier, it is. As humbling as it is to admit, it is necessary in order to illustrate just how stunning this news was to my eyeballs. Yes, my devastation arrived in an email. It was almost as bad as being “broken-up with” on a sticky note. Almost.

Crestfallen, my new reality begged the question, “What would Rosey do?,” idiom intended, as moments like these call for spiritual reflection. All I could do was accept the decision and move on. I cycled through the phases of grief with record speed. Years of practicing optimism, and dealing with a setback as opposed to a calamity of course helped, but the grief was real nonetheless. First: Shock and Anger. What?! How could they? The nerve - seriously?! Second:

Denial. There must be some mistake. Maybe they got my student number mixed up with another.

Followed by a visit to the campus the next day to inquire, only to be reassured that, indeed, I am not good enough (ok, my interpretation, clearly still a little bruised). The visit to campus made the third stage easy: Memories. I walked around taking in the delicious sights and sounds of my beloved academia and said goodbye to my professorial visions of an office filled to the rafters with books, sadly, Accepting (stage 4) my fate. You may be thinking just apply somewhere else - Rosey surely wouldn’t give up so easily to which I would assure you I haven’t. But I did need to Let Go (5) of this particular dream when I was told unequivocally that “those who reapply rarely get a different response.” So be it. At least that opened up space for Reflection and Reframing (6 and 7). I am embracing my new found free time and will take to the meditation pillow and the treadmill to await my next inspiration. I think Rosey would be proud.


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