Sometimes things don’t go as planned. And no matter how much you want something to happen doesn’t mean it’s going to. After a year of working towards the Fulbright Scholarship to conduct my own environmental DNA study in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve in Chile, my Fulbright candidate status fell at Alternate candidate. So basically, waitlisted.
Rejection stings. I find comfort in the fact that I gave the process everything I had – I can’t say I could have tried harder or regret not putting in more effort. But with that comes the conclusion that I’m just not good enough, even at my best. It is an incredibly competitive and prestigious award. At times I questioned why I thought I was good enough to even apply for it. But as the proposal came together, I became more passionate about the project and developed a team of people who could help me make it happen – from professors to sailors. I’m pretty torn up accepting that it’s not going to happen and recognizing that it’s time to give up on it, at least through the avenue of a Fulbright award.
Perhaps I can find another way to fund it. Maybe a university in Chile will take me on in some capacity to work towards my goal of using eDNA as a citizen’s science tool to help protect wild places in the sub-Antarctic region of the world. Maybe another opportunity will arise.
I’m still going. It’s been a dream to make the journey down to Patagonia in my van. I had hoped there would be something waiting for me down there to start the next chapter of my life. Maybe there still is and I just don’t know it yet.