How to: Win at Interviewing!

Ack! I interviewed for my #1 [and only] college choice this morning and it went super fantastically well! The guy that interviewed me said that I was a perfect candidate and at the end thanked me for being so open and genuine. He was excited and told me he was going to advocate for me throughout the process. [I hope that means scholarships!]

At first we talked about my interests and goals and background [which is a smörgåsbord of activities, classes and work and life experiences], then we moved on to serious stuff: What would you say are the moments in your life that stick out to you the most? Yikes. This is a tricky one to navigate. There’s a balance to maintain between being appropriately vulnerable for the circumstance and not over-sharing in a shame-based or desperate way.

I felt proud of myself in this circumstance because I do feel like I did a good job of walking that line. I had so many moments come to mind, some of which were too vulnerable to share in this context, so I ended up choosing a moment with my Mom and turning twenty five. I paraphrased in a way that was open, but not as emotionally raw as the experiences were at the time. The interviewer commented that he could see how those moments were life-altering and that I seem to have an inherent resilience and gained confidence as an adult. These moments, although bleak and heart-stabbing at the time, were actually huge turning points for me and instrumental in learning to [and understanding how to] let go.

The shift between my desperate “fix me” child mentality and grieving the loss of my childhood through this abrupt transition into adulthood was a difficult one, but I’m actually really grateful for it. All this shit people were always saying about letting go finally made sense. And as much as it was painful it was relieving. No more expectations. Just an appropriate amount of grief. Not so bad, I’ve got friends to listen and understand.

I feel good about the entire thing. Growth and the interview and my [potential] future. I told the interviewer that I wanted my memoir to step outside itself to become greater than my own experience, reach out to and relate with people, give them hope. Books did that for me when I was a kid, particularly Dave Pelzer’s A Child Called It. He said maybe ten or fifteen years from now someone would be interviewing there and say my book did for them what A Child Called It did for me. I thought that was very kind, and I’d be super honored.

So hope. That’s the thing. I always go back to hope and shame. And lack of hope. Having hope is way better than not. I hope I can offer some. It makes pain much more worthwhile.


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