This past week, more than ever, I had to constantly remind myself of my own message: Numbers Don’t Define Us. After being deferred, after realizing my dreams did not yet line up with reality, I began to question my ability. Why me? Was I not good enough? Would anyone ever want me? You know, I went through that completely normal spiral of self-doubt concomitant to not being chosen.
This past week, however, I also surprised myself with my strength. Unlike in the past, I was able to get past this small obstacle, to continue to function in a world of grey (not the black-and-white my perception once fooled me of). I gave myself a day or two to soak in the self-pity, but then I dried myself of all the negativity and regret. I am proud at how far I have come. I am proud for accepting support from friends & family, for using my coping skills to help distract me through times of distress, and most of all, for refusing to give up.
To all my peers who were deferred (and there were many….don’t think you are alone): This isn’t the end. This isn’t a final rejection. This isn’t your fault. This is merely a sign to be patient, to never lose hope. I know how unbearable the anticipation can be, how at this moment, the deferral seems like a defining moment in your life, but it’s not. In the grand scheme of the excess of everything that we call life, this is a microscopic bump in the road.
What continues to amaze me today & every day is the unbelievable fortitude and triumph of the human spirit. It is amazing how we can encounter so much loss—whether it be loss of a loved one, dreams, or happiness—and yet never lose hope. It truly is inspiring that through an ocean of pain, we don’t drown, but instead, we continue to swim against the currents, fueled by perseverance and that one undying fragment of our soul.
Recently, my friend shared an extremely inspiring video with me about a tenacious woman named Muniba Mazari. Muniba Mazari, known as the “Iron Lady,” became paraplegic after a serious car accident. However, even though it seemed so easy to just succumb to the devastation, to let the event and her medical condition define the rest of her life, Muniba realized that limitations are just illusions created by our minds, a pure source of fiction. She was unable to find a hero in her own life, so she became her own hero. She treated every obstacle that came her way (and there were many) as temporary setbacks that, with hope and will, could always be defeated.
I want to live life like Muniba Mazari, to never let any circumstance stop me from trying. And I’ve slowly begun to realize that I’m getting there, closer to this adaptive mindset than ever before. As long as we hold onto our infinite hope, we are unstoppable, we are dreamers, and we are irrevocably alive.