16 days

The adventure of a lifetime for me begins in 16 days. I don’t know how that happened upon me so quickly. Two and a half weeks ago I pounced on my phone the second it started to ring, anticipating the caller ID to read “New York, NY”.  Now, I’m pinning like crazy to feel the least bit prepared to make my home the Big Apple for two whole months.

I applied for the Fox News Summer Collegiate Internship November 1st, the day it opened online. By December, I was still checking my email daily for any notification; by January, I’d consigned myself to working a minimum wage job and bumming it at my parents place for the summer; by February, I was (somewhat desperately) emailing the amazing KT McFarland at Fox for any sort of update; by March and April, I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. All that to say, it was a roller coaster of emotions.  Then, Wednesday morning, April 23rd, I got the call from a Fox News Intern Recruiter requesting to set up a phone interview.

Let’s just say I was on cloud nine.

I hadn’t even had the interview yet, but at least they’d acknowledged my application and I’d gotten this far in! I prepared all day for that interview – by prepared I mean praying, talking to a former Fox student intern, praying some more, watching some Fox news, freaking out with the roommates, and then praying again.

She called promptly at 3 p.m. my time, and cut straight to the chase. Why Fox? What have you done that prepares you for this internship? Favorite Fox shows? How do you get your news? All I know is I gave my best responses; it surely wasn’t my most eloquent speaking, with my heart threatening to beat out of my chest and thoughts racing and tumbling around in my head. It lasted about 12 minutes, and the call ended with the understanding that I’d be notified by the end of the next week with either news.

Well, two and a half weeks went by.

I was in communication with KT during that time to see what was going on at Fox. She was sweet and understanding throughout the whole ordeal, and I owe her so much for the advocating she did for me. The clock kept ticking, and I was slowly giving up hope-if they hadn’t called me yet to confirm I’d gotten it, then I probably hadn’t, right?

Herein follows a bit of a digression (no, it’s more of a rabbit trail), yet an applicable one. A life lesson I’ve learned is to not have expectations, ever. If you create these high, dream-like expectations of how life or even just one life event will turn out, you’ll always be disappointed. If you set the lowest expectations you may be pleasantly surprised when things go well, yet you’ll never set goals or aspire for anything. Aristotle is known as a wise philosopher for good reason: his golden mean standard can be applied to setting expectations. I believe the golden mean in this situation is to remain neutral, knowing that how things turn out is for the ultimate best. Catch that emphasis and its connotation. Ultimate meaning final, in the end, result. In the moment things may really suck. Maybe how things are going isn’t what you hoped for, but with a balance on your expectations, you also understand that things turn around eventually, and it’s for the ultimate best.

For the visual learner let me paint a picture. Christmas is a month and a half away. The usual hubbub surrounding the holiday is in full swing. You either 1) set the bar impossibly high for the gifts you’ll receive, the perfect, peaceful conversations with family and in-laws, and the overall contentment in your heart a 3,500 calorie Starbucks peppermint mocha will produce, 2) you remain neutral through the process, focusing on bringing others joy in the season, enjoying yourself and those around you without expecting perfection from them and personal control of every situation, or 3) you take on the spirit of Ebenezer Scrooge, since it can only go uphill from there, right? Approaching Christmas, an internship, a wedding and marriage, really any life event, I’ve found it’s crucial to hold to a golden mean. As a Christian, this means trusting God has a plan for me and every situation I go through in life. In the end, it works out for the best. If I’d gotten an email thanking me for applying but that I hadn’t received the internship, I would have to trust it wasn’t the ultimate best for me at this time according to God’s sovereign plan for my life. I’m not saying this is an easy life lesson to learn, by any means. I certainly haven’t mastered the neutrality myself, but I did try to approach this internship with such a mindset.

Back to the topic at hand; waiting for Fox’s response. Finals week was driving everyone up the wall, and as a resident assistant responsible for checking 18 residents out, I was more than ready to throw in the towel.  I had my last checkouts on Friday, May 9th, so I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off to get everything done. I didn’t see the missed calls on my phone or the pile-up of emails from my parents till after noon. Finally I read a text from my dad saying ‘Kelli girl check your email from KT’. Let me just clarify that a text from my old man is rare and quite the accomplishment. I calmed my immediate excitement to the text, not wanting to expect too much from such a vague message. I turned on my trusty Mac, logged into my email, opened a new email from KT…I HAD THE INTERNSHIP! She’d confirmed with HR that I’d gotten it! Apparently, she’d spoken with the head of HR a couple nights before, recommending my name to this lady, and she’d confirmed with KT that I’d be accepted for the internship.

I screamed.

I never scream.

I kind of wanted this a lot. More than even I knew, clearly. All I could do was jump around with Po (my roommate) and scream some more and praise my Father in Heaven that He’d allowed this and orchestrated it for my life.

And now, as I make plans for my living situation, as I think about walking into work at the Rockefeller Center everyday, as I pin and plan for ways to live cheaply in New York City, I’m overwhelmed by two main feelings: excitement and nervous. So much could (and probably will) go wrong or not as I expect it to, and so much will be once in a lifetime experiences, and memories, and friendships made. Excitement and nerves seem to be the typical response to anything new or transitional in life. And as terrified as I may be, I know I stand on a firm rock, a solid foundation in my Lord, Jesus Christ, and that I have the best possible support system in my family and friends. So I’m going to do my best to enjoy these last 16 days of freedom, continue freaking out with friends ‘cus it’s still surreal that I got it, and praise God every single day for his undeserved grace and overflowing love in my life.

Oh, and I’ll be on Pinterest a lot…A LOT.

Stay lovely,
tall girl

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