Sunday, June 7, 2015

When the answer is "no"

Friday afternoon, I got the text I've been waiting for from Grey. It had been a long week, fueled by a car accident (more on that later) and a student who went MIA during a final presentation (the explanation given after much pushing was he was dealing with "excessive gas," so decided to spend some time in the bathroom without telling anyone). So I was already on edge and hoping for some good news.

Unfortunately, despite them being impressed with his skill set and background, they decided to go with a different candidate.

For his part, Grey has been taking all of this in stride. In addition to one contact heating up, he had a phone interview with a recruiter from another company that is extremely interested in him and reaching out to a contact at another company has resulted in them wanting to chat very soon. Grey is doing everything right and I'm so proud of him for continuing to push on this.

But I feel so defeated.

Shortly after this news, I had a horrible experience with a failed nap-time for the classroom with the 3 yr olds at the daycare. Two little girls who insisted on jumping up and down on their cots, screaming at the tops of their lungs. As I felt my anger rising from knowing that the only reason they were misbehaving was because I was in the room (I'm new to them), I also got a glimpse of what my future held and immediately felt defeated. So many negative thoughts came following that experience as I took a very long walk. So much sadness and frustration.

Like many who have lived with infertility, I know all too well after the emotions that come following failure. First the failure to even achieve pregnancy the "natural" way, then to countless failed treatments to finally facing an uncertain future when your options for the road you're on have run out. The guilt and shame that immediately comes, followed by anger and sadness. But most of all the doubt. That maybe all of this is a sign that things are not meant to be. That maybe you don't deserve what so many seem to be able to achieve simply by forgetting the birth control.

Our society is one that focuses on success. Those that achieve what they set out for, even if for them they have every possible advantage. Rarely do we talk about failure and celebrate finding other roads. Instead the mantra is "keep trying" "don't give up" and "if you work hard enough, good things will come." But what if it's not a matter of work? What if the deck is stacked against us, with us barely getting a glimpse of the iceberg that we are facing? What if it's truly a matter of luck or biology? Things that we can't possibly begin to control?

Add in the wrinkle of when we're not the ones on the receiving new of the bad news. After all, I'm now very seasoned with confronting failure.  But not when the news is for Grey. Not those that I love.

Today I heard news from a long-time friend that her second FET failed. Standing in the kitchen, the tears easily began to flow as I remembered the pain that came with this news. Rapidly wiping them away, I quickly tapped out an "I'm so sorry" before I had to get back to the task at hand, promising to call tonight to talk. The thing is, I feel so powerless because even though I can call and offer words of comfort, none of that will give her what her heart longs for. Something she should have to be fighting for. And it angers me because I know in my heart she's an awesome mom and would raise a child in a home filled with love. All of that on the heels of direct interactions from examples where the parents instead use their children as pawns in their sick and twisted games they call life. Parents who are children themselves.

I'm struggling with the "no"s. The "no" to work that could mark transition, the "no" to futures that should be happening without question. The "no" to roads that our society shuns and is afraid of. The "no"s that lead to stigma and shame instead of change.

A few days ago, I discovered a piece of paper my father gave me when I was in university. It contains the words of Mother Theresa that were engraved in her home for the children of Calcutta

"People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; forgive them anyway. 
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway. 
If you are successful, you will win some false friend and some true enemies; succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough; give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway."

In this spirit, I have my own to add.

On this journey, we all will fail. We all will encounter something that knocks the wind out of us and makes us wonder why we try. We will be told we were silly to dream or that we simply didn't want it enough if we decide to close the door and pursue a different path. Pick yourself up and hold your head high as you continue down this road called life anyway. Because in the end, there will always be "no"s. But it's not the "no"s that define us.


  1. That is one of my favorite quotes of all time. My mother & father-in-law have it over their door, and I think about it all the time, especially since my SIL (their daughter) died last year. It's a powerful quote.

    I hope Grey finds his dream job soon. It's so tough to be struggling and in the waiting game.

  2. This is lovely. It's not about them, it is about us and who we are.

    I'm sorry that Grey didn't get the role that would have met all your requirements, though. I've had a couple of declines lately for job applications, and both times I've looked at their reasons, and realised it's not about me (in both cases they liked me and my CV), it was about them, and their inability to actually see or understand the benefits of my experience, even though it was slightly different to what they imagined their "perfect" candidate would have. I don't think I'm in denial - I just have a good understanding of how people operate!

    My losses and failures have led me to redefine what success means, and have found a different and very personal definition for it, despite having been very "success" oriented in the past. I really dislike the way we define "success" in society these days, and could rant about it for hours. So I'll stop now.

  3. Oh no. Obviously we were all hoping for better news for you and Grey. But I love how you have turned it into something positive to think about. I hope he has better luck with some of his other options.

  4. I am sorry that Grey didn't get the job and you had such a rough week. I also know for a fact what a strong couple you are. I have hope in my heart that better things are in store for your family :) Keep your chin up

  5. I'm so sorry for both you and Grey that this position didn't come through. I really like your thoughts on this. I've been pondering resilience lot lately -- such an important trait.

  6. I'm so sorry it didn't work out with the job, but I really admire your attitude!

  7. I'm so sorry that Grey didn't get the job but it sounds like he has a few good irons in the fire for a different job? I love the quote!

  8. Oh dear, I am sorry, Cristy. :( But I agree with the others, I love the poem & your attitude. I am keeping my fingers crossed that something else just as good comes along soon!

  9. I'm so sorry Grey didn't get the job. :( But I love the poem and I love this post you wrote. You are such an amazing writer.

  10. I'm sorry things didn't work out hun. But you guys have so much strength and perseverance. Things will work out for you guys, you have so much to offer the world.

  11. Such disappointing and frustrating news. I'm so sorry this hasn't gone as you'd both hoped. I will pray that another good opportunity comes available and that Grey is the top candidate. Hugs.


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