Car rides are my favorite form of therapy.
Every traffic jam-induced stop, the soft pitter-patter of rain on my window, and the refreshing blasts of air conditioning solace my mind from days like today, where all I yearn is to wallow in self-pity and tears.
Because friends: disappointment is real. And it hurts a lot.
It causes you to question yourself and oust others who care about you. It clouds your judgement. It makes you feel worthless, unsatisfied, and left wondering what happens next. But if you let it dwell in your heart, disappointment starts to define you.
Years ago, my amazing AP Language and Composition teacher (the same one who mentored me in starting my own blog) told something to our class days before the big AP exam. Or rather, wrote something:
The Test Does Not Define You.
She told us in lyrical, soothing prose that whatever we did on that exam had no power over us as human beings. It was just a test. No more, no less. If we passed, awesome. But if we didn't? Still awesome. No magical change happened to us while taking the test. We were still our unique, remarkable selves; no matter what.
I remember her words years later because they continue to comfort me when external circumstances don't. And as I was driving today, lost in a new sense of disappointment, it occurred to me:
Disappointment doesn't define you.
Just like a test, disappointment is an external and fleeting thing. It isn't meant to permanently change you. It shouldn't define you. This truth is hard to learn because we get so consumed in the now that we forget about the later. We let external feelings/objects tear at our internal self. Just like a test.
So while disappointment doesn't define us, it does define a moment in our lives. A moment to start over, refocus, and reach for new opportunities. A moment to ask God for guidance and trust His plan for my disappointment.
So today? That's what I will do.
Let my disappointment define new opportunity and not me.