Disappointment, a necessary part of life

Let me start off by saying that I’m doing a series of posts this month for a link-up. My understanding was to pick 3 prompts and do a post on each. I just found out this morning from the link-up coordinator that you are supposed to do three prompts in one post. If I had known that, I probably wouldn’t have done it. To me, that makes the blog more like a journal. While, I definitely share my personal experiences in my posts, I always set out to make this more of a self-help journey we can all be on together, with hopes that people can take something away to apply to their own lives. I also prefer to do a “theme” of the week (as you’ve probably noticed) rather than a hodge-podge of random information. Since I technically broke the rules of the link-up, I won’t be allowed to participate in any future ones, which is honestly fine with me as I never need writing prompts… I just thought it would be fun to connect with other bloggers.

I know you’re getting a photo of him every week but I miss him.

Anyway, on the topic of disappointment, I know that 2020 has been a s*** show for most people, and we’ve probably all seen our fair share of disappointment this year. The last few months have definitely been that way for me – first my dog being put down, and now, well, current circumstances, which have left me feeling depressed, which is not normal for me (thankfully I have a therapy appointment today). I’m going to share my current disappointment with you in a moment, I am also going to (try to) set myself up (and you too) on the right path to move beyond disappointment, because it is a necessary part of life.

As you may know, I am doing my Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology (future therapist here!). What you may not know is that I am excelling in the program (literally have never had a 4.0 GPA and mine is actually higher than that – yes, I’m bragging a bit but I usually eat a lot of humble pie). What you also may not now is that Covid has f***ed practicum opportunities in Canada. We have to acquire our own practicums, and the university told us if we live in a major centre to contact at least 30 sites. I reached out to 63 in the city I currently live. Of these, only three confirmed they are taking students this year (1 I didn’t qualify for based on experience, 1 I interviewed for and didn’t get, and 2 I applied to but didn’t get an interview); 16 places never responded at all, and the rest said they weren’t taking students because of the pandemic. As a result, I also applied/contacted to 5 sites in a neighbouring city (all of which decided not to take any students); 5 in my hometown (2 never responded, 3 said they aren’t taking students); 1 in a city my older brother lives in (had an interview, didn’t get it), and 15 in a city my younger brother lives in (applied to 3, didn’t hear from 3, and the rest said they aren’t taking students).

My school I.D. photo lol

Okay, so that’s the backstory. The thing is, one of the places in the city my younger brother lives in actually accepted me as a student at the end of September. So, though I still had to do an application process through my uni, I did get some initial excitement going about living near family again and moving to the mountains! I have been in contact with my site supervisor, and have almost all my forms ready to go for school – the package is due Nov 1. Then yesterday, I hear from the university (who had initially sent off my application as the site is with a health authority) that the site has decided they took on too many students and cancelled my placement. While they didn’t say why mine was the one that was cancelled, it can be assumed it is because I currently live in a different province, as the health authority itself stated it prioritizes in province students. Here’s the thing, the site supervisor said he was still willing to supervise, and the whole thing is of no cost (at least monetary) to the site. It’s hard not to feel like I’m being penalized for the pandemic/living in the wrong province apparently. I know a lot of other students have had to defer their practicum until May but I’m already 35 and just want to get my career started. Thus disappointment. By the way, the health authority did tell the university they could submit my application to some of their other sites in the same region, so they did yesterday, but it sure puts a time crunch on the whole thing for me if there is a yes out there (fingers crossed).

Where I was supposed to move to… and hopefully still will.

So how do we work through disappointment? First and foremost I think it’s necessary to live in the emotions we feel. For me that started as stress and anxiety and has lead to deep sadness. I can only really move on if I fully feel these emotions, and so I will. Second, it is important to talk and process with someone. Like I mentioned, I will be having a session with my own therapist today (and yes, therapists do often have therapists) to do just that. If you don’t have one (you should!) then with a family member, friend, or partner also suffices. What I like about an impartial person to do this with is that they can get you to do more exploration and problem solving than someone who is just going to reiterate your own feelings and concerns back to you, or blame someone/something else for your disappointment (not saying the disappointment is your fault). Third, is to be proactive with what you can do. Apparently my decision could not be appealed by my site supervisor or the school, so I found a contact form and sent it off to the site explaining the situation and asking for a decision-maker to contact me. I also had the university send off my application to the other sites. I will continue to work on my school work (paper due this week) and try to keep myself busy and distracted while I wait to hear. Finally, I look at the worst case scenario. For me that is differing my practicum and doing in it May. Is that ideal or what I want? Nope. But will I survive? Yes. As I said, disappointment is a part of life, but it is the choices that we make when disappointment arrives that determine what our futures will be like.

I must live by my mantra now more than ever.

Thanks for reading, and keep making the most of it!

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