Make peace with the life you did not get so that you can make way for the life that can be yours to find its way to you. Recently, I was watching “Devious Maids”, one of guilty pleasures on Lifetime TV. One of the characters, Zoila, is a maid and she feels that all she can be is a maid because she was unable to accept a scholarship and go to college. She does not want her daughter to be a maid and rightly so. However, the daughter wants to pay her own way to college rather than depend on her mother and father. Her mother, Zoila, is adamant and does everything to make sure her daughter doesn’t make the same mistake she did, even trying to get her fired from her maid job. Now, the moral here is not that Zoila wanted better for her daughter. It is the fact that Zoila never got over not being able to go to College and pursue her dreams, so she accepted a life of “demeaning servitude” because she thought that was all she was good for i9life.
How many of us are still upset about a life we did not get? I will be the first one to raise my hand. I never got to go to a prestigious University. To this day, I still regret not being accepted to Fordham University, which was my first choice College. There are days when I wonder what my life would have been like if I had gone to Fordham University. I do know for a fact that my life would have definitely been different. I had loved everything about Fordham U. Its prestige, it’s alumni program, their special programs for High School students, programs that I took part in. I even won an Internship of the Year Award. I had interned at some of the best Companies. My life was on the right path. I was not accepted for reasons that were out of my control, although I had the grades. Instead, I was accepted to another University and while that was a private University, it was still not Fordham. My plan was to spend two years at that University, get better grades and then transfer to Fordham University. Yes, I was that obsessed with attending Fordham University. However, life did not work out that way. I made do with the University I was accepted to.
It was not until I was watching that episode of Devious Maid that it hit me. I never made peace with not being able to attend Fordham University or even Fordham Law. Recent circumstances made me realize how much resentment I had for not being able to attend a prestigious University. School and education were my identity. Since I never got to go to Fordham U. for my Bachelor’s degree, I decided that I would apply to Fordham Law and combine the prestige of becoming a Lawyer with the prestige of attending Fordham Law, a Tier 1 Law School. I had to get my J.D then my LL.M (Masters of Law) and them my LL.D (Doctorate of Law). But that did not happen. Well, that part was on me.
I realized that I did not want to go to Law School. Oh the horror of horrors. My family was appalled. They thought I had no direction and I was wasting my life. I still have an Aunt, who to this day still asks if I will reconsider my decision to not go to Law School. I had to restore my family’s honour and do something prestigious with my life. It would help if I went to Oxford or Cambridge University. I have even found myself encouraging my nephew to use his grades to apply to Oxford or Cambridge. I want him to make something of his life and get the opportunities I never got. I hope he forgives me for putting that on him.
Even though the decision to not go to Law School was mine, I still spent the next ten years of my life resenting my life. I just know that if I gotten certain opportunities, I would have had a better life. Yes that was how deeply obsessed and meshed my identity was with the “right schools”, the “meeting the right people”, marrying “up” and living the “right affluent lifestyle”. To add fuel to the fire, I sacrificed my life for “family” and that did not turn out well. It actually blew up in my face. More pain and resentment.