Hope Springs Eternal

I have always been one who trusts that things work out in the end. Despite any hardships or sorrow, you will be able to look back and understand it with time and perspective. Whether you believe in God, Yahweh, Allah, cosmic forces, or no forces, I think we can all see that sometimes there is a plan in place. Just, at this moment, that plan is hard for me to trust.

One of the biggest blessings in disguise I have ever received, crushed me at first. I will never forget getting a call from my Mom while on a service trip Spring Break of Senior Year of High School. I was in Appalachia and my letter from the University of Notre Dame had arrived at home. I took a deep breath and said, “Mom, just open it.”

I heard the familiar sound of a tearing envelope, the rustling of unfolding paper, and then a pause…”Mom, read it aloud please.”

“Dear Michael, Thank you very much for applying to be a member of the University of Notre Dame’s student body. We had an extremely talented applicant pool for the incoming class in the Fall of 2008. We regret to inform you…” At that point I am not sure what else my Mom read aloud before I finally told her she could stop and I would give her a call later. One of the guys on the trip was a huge Notre Dame fan and came from a big ND family like myself, he was able to sympathize with me. In fact, I think he may have been more upset than I was. I could not spend time feeling sorry for myself, I had bigger things to get done that week so I muscled through it.

When I arrived home after an amazing week, I was so happy to see that my Dad, a ND grad and all, had picked up some UD sweatshirts and hung the basketball and football calendars on the fridge. He was excited for me to be going to Dayton. Little did I know how glad I would be that I ended up there as well.

If you had told me that, four short years later, I would be dreading the day they made me leave UD, then I may have punched you in the mouth. It was too true though. I grew so much in my four years and made lifelong friends. I was able to really branch out and find myself. I reaffirmed what I believed in and pushed my comfort zone on countless occasions. I now look forward to each Dayton Magazine that arrives in the mail and am willing to pay almost any price for a flight or road trip back to the happiest place on earth.

I tend to forget how sad I was about not getting into Notre Dame, but looking back, I would not want this to be any other way. I need to remember that now. I have been chasing an elusive dream for myself of working on Capitol Hill. A dream which has not been easy to pursue. As time wears on and I continue to get nowhere in the job hunt on the Hill, I am coming to terms with the idea that maybe something else is out there for me. I am really excited for an interview I have on Thursday with a lobbying firm. I hope to do well and possibly get the opportunity to really grow in my career and professional life working for this firm.  Yet, I still cannot see the endgame, where I end up.

I am doing everything I can to trust the plan, to know that everything will work out, but the platitudes are getting old. I just want a sliver of success. Applying to jobs for me is a like a lotto ticket, getting my hopes up every time. I always hope for good odds, but it feels like I have the same odds as a lotto ticket. I just want to hit the jackpot once. Right now, I will continue to be fueled by black coffee, cheap whiskey, and that hope that springs eternal somewhere deep in your gut each time. I will double down the focus on grad school and continue to grow my friendships out here in DC. There is not much I have to complain about when I frame it up in perspective, but I still want to convert this hope to something more. For now though, I am going to keep hoping…

Until next time friend, be safe and make good decisions…

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