Inafuturelife wrote recently, in his blog, that he is going insane now during waiting season. I feel very much as if I am, also! I have noticed a very disconcerting trend in my life - which is that, no matter what I am doing, the idea of not getting an admit again this year is always there. It's like a bruise...it doesn't exactly hurt, unless you are directly pushing on it or bump into something again - but you are always acutely aware of its presence. It's not something you are dwelling on actively, but you can't stop paying attention to it, either. It's an energy-sapping, subconscious obsession. Is that even normal, or is that the response of a second-time around applicant?
I am taking St. John's Wort, exercising and eating as well as I can, and trying not to dwell - but I also am having a hard time struggling with my emotions over all of this. I'm not 21, 22, 23. I didn't "get it" when I was young enough to be able to just bounce back from a rejection. I am closer to 40 than 30, and every year is a very acutely felt loss as regards my further training in academia. The stakes are higher now than they were when I was younger, because I just don't have as many chances. This is a result of my own choices, in large part, and I do accept that; further, I can assure you that I wouldn't trade my beautiful children for any degree in the world (although if I had it to do over again I could certainly skip the wasted years trying to make an abusive first marriage work without blinking an eye). If I don't get into a doctoral program, after all I have done to turn things around, then I know, in a clinical, cerebral fashion, that it isn't really about my ability. But that doesn't make it easier, to also know that "if only I had......"
What do you have to do, to be considered for a second chance when you clearly possess the talent, drive and ambition to succeed, but you didn't "follow the rules", and your name's not Robert Downey Jr. or Lindsey Lohan? Can a regular, hard-working American get a second shot at her dream? On my good days, I think , "Of COURSE!!! Of COURSE I will get a chance! Look at everything I have done to turn myself into an excellent applicant." On my bad days....well, I admit, sometimes, I just cry.