This week ended with some rough news - did not get the Fulbright Research Fellowship this year. The thin, manila-enveloped letter came in the mail on Friday afternoon, and my weekend naturally followed with some intensive self-reflection. The Fulbright process has been long and exhausting. Since last August, when I submitted my app, I have been (so mistakenly!) wrapped up in the waiting game. Well - it's done now and I am at least very happy to have made it to the final round, which was my original benchmark goal anyways.
As I approached the mailbox on Friday I had a strange feeling that it was going to be a rejection letter, but it was still hit me pretty hard when I read it. I called my sister, then went home to write the professors and advisors who had given me so much through the application process and the year.
It's now time to start gearing up for a hard job search, apply for grad programs, and begin a world travel adventure. I'm going to begin in the Philippines in January (where my parents and I are going on a medical mission) and then make my way westwards through Southeast Asia, back to Turkey, on to Europe and then end up back in California.
Thank you to all who have offered words of encouragement, confidence, and inspiration. So much love!