Six years ago this week I got an email that changed my life. "Congratulations! You have been selected as a finalist for the Fulbright program!"
I happened to be in Cameroon during January/February 2010 as well and miraculously had Internet in our apartment (though it was slow and finicky). I knew that news of the finalists would be coming out in the end of January/early February so I had butterflies in my stomach all week. Then one morning, before I was even awake, my husband (a very early riser) ran into our room and shook me awake that the email had come.
Getting news that I have been accepted (or even just chosen as a finalist) is the greatest gift I can give to myself. It's like the best surprise package that was that thing for which you had wished and saved and dreamed. Putting in all the work to receive these presents makes them that much sweeter.
Throughout the year, I usually have between one and three applications submitted that are like little nest eggs, preparing to hatch. I never know (or I know generally but not specifically) when a pleasant surprise is going to arrive in the mail or in my inbox.
The work of putting together fellowship, scholarship, or award applications is hard, but the sporadic surprises are well worth it! Not to mention it's like getting free money. If you are interested in finding out how to give yourself these presents, my forthcoming book, Funded!, will give you the tools to begin your own process. Available for pre-order now! See The Book on the tab above!