“The best thing is looking back and realizing how incredible life is. If you don’t take the time to think about or analyze your life you’ll never realize all the dots that are all connected. –Beyoncé
This morning as I was headed to class I got a call from one of my Morehouse brothers. During our phone call, he expressed to me that he was denied Spring admission into a prestigious school that he applied to earlier this year. At the moment he told me of this unfortunate news, initially, I didn’t know how to respond. I asked myself, What should I do?
Should I start trying to give advice, give reassurance or minimize the situation?
My first response was to minimize the situation. I planned to say things to him such as,
“Fuck them, man. It’s their loss. It’s no big deal; you’re better than that.”
So often this is a response that we give each other to try to “be there” for our friends. This approach is easy but can also be problematic if this is something that our loved ones really wanted. As all of these possible responses quickly ran through my head, I decided to do what I know is best and to listen.
My question to him was, “So how do you feel?”
He expressed that he was completely fine and would use his time away from school to focus on his self-development. He went on to explain that he would spend time exploring entrepreneurship options and relax.
“Well…Congrats.” I replied while smiling.
I was proud of him for taking this opportunity with a light heart. The school he applied was an Ivy league, and it would have been cool for him to be admitted, but he seemed unphased. His perspective was inspiring.
It was confident. It was mature. It made me think.
As I write these very words, I’m reflecting on how many times I haven’t gotten opportunities or was fired from a job. What I have come to understand is that each moment that I have experienced has brought me to where I am now.
During my junior year at Morehouse, there was a girl at Spelman that caught my eye. She was cute, ambitious and we had good conversations. As we kept getting to know each other deeper, I started liking this girl. Oddly enough, the feeling wasn’t mutual. I later found out she had other guys; she was hooking up all over campus, there was more to her than I knew. We never hit it off. I saw her recently at Homecoming last October, and she looked a mess. I wonder what would have happened if she became my girlfriend.
Chris Goes To LA?
Following finishing my bachelor’s degree at Morehouse, I wanted to work for the Oprah Winfrey Network. I planned to move from Atlanta to Los Angeles and work in some entry-level role at OWN. I worked so hard to email everyone I could, prayed about it and worked towards it. To my surprise, the Oprah Winfrey Network was in the midst of a hiring freeze disabling me to find work with that company. Luckily that denial lead me to pursue graduate school and lead me to BU.
TCS & Kim K
When I started at BU, I failed my first graduate school exam and wrote a very authentic blog about the experience. That blog is one of my most read posts. Interestingly enough when I went to Atlanta for Homecoming so many people were coming up to me expressing their concern about my academics because I failed that exam. When I did well on my paper for my Media Money Trail class, I wanted to share that story with the world through social and tweeted about it. I intended to merely refute the narrative that I was failing everything here at BU. That tweet was the one that caught Kim Kardashian’s opinion, and the rest is history. Had I not failed that exam I wouldn’t have tweeted about my paper.
The takeaway from these stories is to remind us all to trust the timing of our lives. I’ve repeated time and time in my work that our lives are so much bigger than us. So often we get caught up in our plans, and what we want our reality to be, meanwhile God has a bigger plan for us than we can even conceive.
I encourage you to reflect on moments in your life. Think about the times when you were rejected, denied or missed an opportunity. What I know for sure is that rejection is divine redirection.
Whenever you miss an opportunity, do your best to practice gratitude. Be grateful as you understand that whatever you perceived as potentially hurtful is there to be helpful. This kind of thinking can be applied to relationships, jobs or any opportunity that you may be denied. Once you begin to move through life with the understanding that every moment is bringing you closer to who you were meant to be, your entire reality shifts. You will move through life free of stress and anxiety from situations that you can’t control.
I’m very excited to see what happens next in regards to my friend and his time away from school. I know that this REDIRECTION from that college will lead him to an even more significant opportunity.