“Men may rise on stepping stones of their dead selves to higher things”
-Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Some time has passed between finding out that I was not selected for a position in one of my favorite organizations and now. I’ve had time to reflect over what I did right, where I went wrong, and what I can do going forward. However, it has been difficult. I feel a lot like Hillary Clinton right now, knowing that I was perhaps over qualified for the role, that I had put so much time and effort into something that I had real passion for, and only realizing that maybe I was never really wanted. Hillary’s words could tell you exactly how I am feeling right now: “There have been a few times this week where all I wanted to do was curl up with a good book or the dogs and never leave the house again,” she said at the Newseum gala a few days after her disturbing loss.
I can completely identify with her sentiments and I feel more empathy for her now than I ever have. For all intents and purposes, I am walking in her shoes; I fought hard for the position that I wanted, proposed change and growth that may not have been easy but would have been right, and I was cast aside for my efforts. Just like Hillary, I was devastated that I could lose in a manner where the level of experience, passion, and insight was seemingly ignored in favor of some other less pronounced trait or ideal. I had worked my entire college career to a point where I thought I had a shot at making a difference, in no way for myself but in every way for the organization I knew I could lead. I was rejected, and in my opinion, I was rejected in the same grossly unfair terms as Hillary was.
So here I am, still recovering and still unsure of what I should be doing. Everyone has been saying don’t give up, don’t give in, and keep moving forward in life. Great advice, of course, but not something that’s so easy to do in the moment. When your plans are ground to a halt, it can be easy to remain grounded, unsusceptible to the driving force that allows most people to continue living their lives. Healing is necessary, and as usual I will eventually throw myself at other passions in my life in the pursuit of healing. I’ll take walks, I’ll read, maybe dance a little, and I will continue to cultivate my unwavering commitment to the integration of hospitality and business. The last one may take more time, but it shall be worth it in the end.
Finally, I am still reminded of Hillary in her strength and commitment to something she fought for: the democracy of the United States of America. Even she is attending the inauguration today, a feat of strength only she could accomplish. It inspires me to keep going myself, in the hope that I may one day be as strong, and to not give up on something that gave up on you.