Frustrations come in many different forms. For most people it is something that just drags us down into bitterness. We wonder why despite of the things that we have done, no matter how hard we tried it still ended up different from the way we want it to be. That was how I felt when I got rejected for the congress I was talking about. Not being conceited or anything, I really just feel that I should go to that congress. And then the story unfolds and here I am... bitter. I really do not want to claim that I am not because aside from the fact that not many will believe me, it is with the bitterness that I realize something must be done.
When I first heard the news of my rejection, I was trying to convince myself that I did not hear it. It was as if I was ignoring something that was just in front of me. I tried not to think about it but it kept on following me. During a meeting for the publication, it was finally confirmed and I just felt so bad. I nursed the frustration for sometime not really knowing how to react. When I sat at my study table that night, all I could think of are the many things I will miss, the dream that I will never have. I was trying not to cry but I felt really really bad that tears just started to flow. I tried not to be noticed by my room mates so I acted normal despite of the tears. And then, just as I usually do whenever I encounter instances that I feel I can not handle, I cry out to God, I just said, "God turn this into something good."
The feeling did not go away as I tried to sleep, it kept on haunting me until my body just gave up and I dozed off. The next day was still the same thought. I could see my classmates who made it were already processing and I felt more pain. People thought that because I was joking about it, I wasn't affected. In reality, it was just my way of coping. I wanted to talk to people, to my Tactical Officer and to many others who can do something that will just change my fate. But I did not go with my thoughts, I knew I will only look trying hard. Each day became a battle to let go of that frustration and every time I think I can no longer handle it, I prayed the same prayer I made the first night.
When I told the news to my friend in Manila, he too was frustrated. He was one person that knew how much I wanted it. He asked me if there was a way to change the decision, I said there maybe but I wouldn't try. At the back of my mind, I was thinking that maybe he can do something about it since he is connected with the organizers of the congress. I was thinking maybe he could do some recommendation from their end. In the end, I dismissed the thought, I was already scheming to get what I want. Then came the people that at one point attended the congress. They were all introduced according to the year they attended the congress and it added more pain. Finally my friend started to tell me about what he is doing now. He said that he was connected with a project in Mindanao, then suddenly I remembered Project ISLAM.
What first was a continuous blow on my already frustrated heart, suddenly shifted to another light. I started to tell him about the Project. My enthusiasm became so great that I forgot I was frustrated. Finally, the realization of a new me dawned. This was God's answer to my prayer. My frustration was because I get to hear beautiful stories about the conference and dreamed of having the same stories. Somehow, I made the connection that people like my friend, have become who they are because of their experience in that congress. As I was talking more and more about things that I could do for some noble project, I was just amazed. People have become who they are because that was the choice they made. I remember how bad I feel about others who attended the congress who failed miserably in catching the message why the congress was being held. I was willing to offer myself for something good and that was the whole point of the congress. I realized that I already caught the message and the call now is not to try to catch it again but act on the message.
I decided several things on how I will live my life from now on. I may not be able to do much but I know I am in the right path. The frustration is another way of God to tell me to start doing something rather than wait and feel bad about things that do not go the way I want it. Its true, I still feel bad and I know it will take time for me to forget about the rejection, but what I do with my life now is my choice. The congress is just one of the many opportunities there is, but as long as I am here and with God on my side, I am not to waste these other opportunities. Frustrations will come but what we do with it is our own choice.
Last night, I was reading Philippine Star about an interview with Purpose Driven Life Author Rick Warren and he sums up everything that I have already said: "Its like bubble gum, you chew it but you do not swallow it."