Life Advice

What would Hillary Clinton do?

Thursday 3rd April

My mother always says, “what’s for you won’t pass you.’ As a teenager who wanted the world I couldn’t help but feel like she was lying to me – why would something pass me? It was almost like that everything she said about what I should and shouldn’t have was just a tall tale that adults tell their kids, to make them happy about not getting what they have worked so hard for.

I am writing this from my bed. I have had a tiny bit too much wine and yesterday morning at about 9am I was told that the M.Phil degree that I spent 9 months working on getting the application together for has been denied. I found this out yesterday morning. To give you a sense of the impeding disaster, last Friday I left a job that paid me more than my parents combined to go do this masters, which was supposed to start this month.

It was halted, and rejected at the very very last hurdle.

By right I was devastated and yeah yesterday do you know what, it felt like my world had crumbled. I gave up my job for this on a chance that it was a safe bet. It was a safe bet and was a complete shock to me. I felt a lot of anger and frustration, annoyance and complete and utter confusion. They have suggested that I do an MA before pursuing an MPhil Research Masters. 

I spent today searching for the silver lining. This morning was tough, I felt like everything that could go wrong, was going to go wrong. I wasn’t interested in the day and the thought of smiling was just too much for me. But like I always do, I carried on. I think we all have those moments where you just feel heavy, where it seems like the world is pressing down on you and holding you back. Like when bureaucracy and paperwork just seems like too much effort and when a standstill in life seems imminent. We all have those days, those moments and even fleeting thoughts.

By about 10.30am I found the silver lining. I guess I kind of realised that maybe an MA would be the best thing right now (and half the cost). I could give myself a solid base on which to then jump to PhD level. it seemed to make sense. I would get to keep my car (which was going to fund the second year of the MPhil) and all the work I have done for the past year in my previous job was still sitting in a pretty fat bank account that I cannot touch, it’s all there for me, when I am ready.

I found some solace in looking back at the journey to get to where I am. I have moved jobs and although not as financially rewarding, it is a job that is very very creative. I enjoy it, and for me that matters a whole lot more than what my pay check says at the end of the month. It has been one of lifes lessons for me in the past year that money really cannot buy you happiness. I’ve had a tonne of the stuff, and I still was very unhappy, I’ve had none, and have the same. I am a modern day Mahatma Gandhi… So today, after trying to keep myself steady the past 48 hours, I managed to swiftly put myself back on the rails and found the energy to soldier on. Which was great, because when I go off the rails, I do it in spectacular fashion.

A thought occurred to me at about 10am this morning “Ok that didn’t work, so what now?” The thing is that I HAD choices. At least, I definitely have choices now. You always have choices, even if they seem cloudy to you right now.

Although I am very disheartened that all the work I put into my thesis is not going to come to fruition, for now at least, I am going to apply for two masters programmes that I think I will like and which fit in with what I wanted to work on during the MPhil. I worked very hard the past 12 months to get the money together to get to where I am today. It’s there waiting for me, now it is just a case of working to get applications together for the next option, this was always my Plan B.

I phoned my mother today to tell her the news, I simply told her not to talk until I was done, and said “we need to go with Plan B” – course she knew what that meant considering she is included on most of my life decisions. As always she gave me the steady hand on the shoulder, and the sieve on which to air out my thoughts.

I often consider “What Would Hillary Clinton Do?” when things get rough, and yesterday a 9 month long plan, collapsed at the last hurdle. Months of work to get everything in place, for nothing. It has become somewhat of an inadvertent life mantra for me…because in this instance I think Hillary Clinton would have had a plan B, she would take the learning experience and move on. So I was prepared for this long ago. 

I had a Plan B. It just so happens, that Plan B is probably the best option, and it has already been set in motion.

And if that doesn’t work then I have a Plan C…Because that’s just how life works.

NEXT WEEK – Why I Hate Everyone When I Run