College decision time is here again, inflicting emotional havoc on teenagers everywhere. A dear friend of mine sent me something that she wrote to her daughter, following a big disappointment. I think that it is a beautiful message and thought that I’d share it here. Big hugs, Geri Lynn Campbell.
Last night, my daughter was rejected from her first choice school, a school everyone was virtually certain she'd get into. In that moment, all I had gleaned from the three helpful books I had recently read ("Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be," "How to Raise an Adult" and "Untangled") went flying out the window.
Although I remained calm and consoling while she wept in a heap on her desk, all the sage advice I had stored up just in case of moments like these simply evaporated. Having had the past 24 hours to digest this disappointment (both hers and admittedly, ours, too) I felt some key points bear repeating to both my girl and any parent who finds it the least bit helpful:
This, my sweet girl, does not define you.
It does not make you.
It will not break you.
I am proud of all you have done, and continue to do (I'm sure the Tiger Mom Association would have a field day with this one).
I am most proud of who you are, and continue to be.
This is a setback, a mere obstacle that you need to find your way around, over, or through.
When your heart is broken, mine breaks too, but rest assured, hearts always mend.
When you say "nothing good ever happens to me," know that it just feels that way for now.
Life is indeed not fair, but it is still worthwhile.
YOU were not rejected, they don't even know you.
I wish you knew now that it all works out in the end. That some of the best and the brightest didn't have a smooth road to success, and that every bump in the road will teach you something valuable.
Most of all, know that you are loved and valued and I wouldn't trade that for anything.