The Announcement

It’s either going to say congratulations or it’s not. How crazy is it that the course of my future could be defined by one word – or a lack thereof?

I’m nervous. So nervous that I drank a travel mug full of coffee this morning and spent the entire school day shaking and getting chills and having major tunnel-vision anxiety. I’ve envisioned the announcement so many times over the past few months that, in a way, it feels like a moment I’ve already experienced. I’ve imagined the congratulations and the state of shock and the subsequent squealing because an acceptance is what I want more than anything in the world, probably more than anything I’ve ever wanted before. I’ve also imagined the blank space, the generic greeting, my face falling as my eyes scan the letter hopefully but without much hope.

The thing is, I’ve been so good at not overthinking this. Well, good by my standards. For the most part, I haven’t dwelt on the announcement and have tried to plan for the worst but hope for the best. Every time I caught myself fantasizing about the congratulations, the perfect scenario, I shoved the thought right into a box in the back of my head. But then the release date got moved up and I realized I’m not ready for the illusion to end. Though, statistically, I have a higher chance of being admitted than being rejected, deferral is almost a guarantee. That means three and a half more months of waiting, of agony, of hoping while knowing there’s not much hope.

I’m worried about not getting in, but I’m almost just as worried about how I’m going to handle the result. I overthink, I dwell on things, and I fall deep into my moods. Not receiving a congratulations will inevitably make the next three weeks evermore stressful, as I’ll have quite a few more applications to complete because, despite my planning, I wasn’t able to finish them before the momentous release. How can I put a positive foot forward – toward other hopeful congratulations – if I’m filled with bitterness and self-loathing and spirit-crushing disappointment? I always knew it was a long shot, a crapshoot, if you will, but the idealist in me still hoped. And now the pessimist in me hates her for it.

Tomorrow, we’ll see who was right.

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Lyrics Lately | 3

So after a whole year of no “Lyrics Lately” posts, here’s my second in the past two days. Those college decision feels, am I right?

“But I, I’ve got a lot to say. And I’m scared that you’re gonna slip away.”
– Vance Joy, Wasted Time

“Deep in the meadow, under the willow, a bed of grass, a soft green pillow. Lay down your head, and close your sleepy eyes and when again they open, the sun will rise.”
– Jennifer Lawrence / James Newton Howard, Deep in the Meadow (Lullaby)

“Forget your woes and let your troubles lay, and when again it’s morning, they’ll wash away.”
– Jennifer Lawrence / James Newton Howard, Deep in the Meadow (Lullaby)

“I ain’t hung up on you, I ain’t in love with you. This is just time that I’m wasting. One or two little sips, I’m alright, I can quit. You’re just some wine that I’m tasting.”
– Carrie Underwood, Relapse

“I don’t have to have you, I don’t need to need you. Just a high that I’m chasing.”
– Carrie Underwood, Relapse

“And we’ll make it right tomorrow, but tomorrow’s not a sure thing.”
– Carrie Underwood, Clock Don’t Stop

“The clock don’t stop ticking away, away. Always hanging on the wall; no, it don’t care at all. It won’t slow down; it won’t wait. The clock don’t stop ticking away – it’s ticking away.”
– Carrie Underwood, Clock Don’t Stop

“If I would’ve known, if I would have known it could have been you. If I had the chance, if I had the chance I’d make us brand new.”
– Justin Bieber, Been You

“Feeling the remnants, caught in an instance; blink of an eye, no goodbye. I had a notion, deep as the ocean, blue like the sky, oh my. Like a permanent stain, wishing I could just wash away, away.”
– Justin Bieber, Been You

“Haunts me tonight, the ghosts are alive. All of the memories of serenity dwindle in my mind, all the time.”
– Justin Bieber, Been You

“Hello from the outside… At least I can say that I’ve tried.”
– Adele, Hello

“Up with your turret; aren’t we just terrified? Shale, screen your worry from what you won’t ever find. Don’t let it fool you. Don’t let it fool you… down. Dancing around, folds in her gown.”
– Bon Iver, Rosyln

Thanks for reading.

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Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling

23731881Book: Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination by J.K. Rowling, Joel Holland (Illustrations) | Goodreads
Release Date: April 14th, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought

In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a deeply affecting commencement speech at Harvard University. Now published for the first time in book form, Very Good Lives offers J.K. Rowling’s words of wisdom for anyone at a turning point in life, asking the profound and provocative questions: How can we embrace failure? And how can we use our imagination to better both ourselves and others?

Drawing from stories of her own post-graduate years, the world-famous author addresses some of life’s most important issues with acuity and emotional force.

Given that for many of us, college applications are a reality and admissions (and rejections) are right around the corner, I decided to pick up and review J.K. Rowling’s famous Harvard commencement speech. While this 80-page book is expensive – $15 in the U.S. – I do think it’s a more enjoyable experience to read Rowling’s speech in book form rather than online in the public domain. Additionally, the proceeds of this little book go both to Rowling’s Lumos charity for ending the institutionalization of children and to Harvard University’s financial aid program.

I found that I love J.K. Rowling’s message in Very Good Lives. I didn’t know exactly what to expect going into it, but I thought she had some really good points. Rowling emphasizes the value of doing what you love, but also stresses that those who are fortunate enough to receive an education have “unique status and responsibilities.” Political activism, human rights advocation, and empathy for the powerless are both the privileges and burdens of the powerful, the educated. Rowling also stressed that failure can be good. It sounds crazy in a simple sentence, but her elaborations and personal anecdotes –  like how she wrestled with poverty for years as a single mom before Harry Potter took off – really bring this truth to light.

My favorite portion of the speech is as follows:

Choosing to live in narrow spaces leads to a form of mental agoraphobia, and that brings its own terrors. I think the willfully unimaginative see more monsters. They are often more afraid.

What is more, those who choose not empathize enable real monsters. For without ever colluding an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude with it through our own apathy.

I most definitely recommend that anyone of any age read this speech because it truly is life-changing. It gave me some much needed perspective on the college admissions process and my not-so-distant future as an adult.

”I wish you all very good lives. Thank you very much.” 

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