The Beauty of Not Getting What You Want

Not getting what you want sucks.


Look, I could find a million flowery, poetic words to describe the feeling but I won’t. I don’t need to. You can do that work for me. Just think back to the last time you got passed up for a job or promotion. Sucked right? Or, the last time you shot your shot to that guy/gal you’d been interested in for so long but it got returned to sender? That, really sucked, entit? How about pouring your all into a relationship only for it to go south? Or that business venture failing? It all sucks. It is a sucker punch to the gut and we often reel from those instances.

We wonder why we weren’t good enough for that job or person. We wonder what we could have or should have done better in our business. We sometimes feel like failures. We wallow and we wallow well. Some of us spiral and refuse to get back up on the saddle: try something new, try the same thing from a new angle. Instead, we allow self-pity to consume us.

Here’s the thing. There are times when things don’t work out because we slacked off, didn’t try hard or prepare enough. To be clear, I am not referring to those times. If you fail a test after not studying and getting drunk the night before, that is all on you. And, there is no beauty in getting a bad grade. I would suggest you get your shit together - fast. I am not talking about going weeks without working on your novel or promoting it and being surprised that things aren’t looking great. And, yes, that was a direct dig at my own damn self.

I am talking about the times when you know, deep down inside, that you have done all that you could do. The times when you know you have gone over and beyond. I am referring to the times you put forward the best version of yourself but things still don’t work out. You still get passed up, put down or pushed against. Have you ever considered that there is a blessing in the rejection, beauty in the failure, salvation in not getting the very thing you wanted?

The concept has been weighing heavily on my mind for the past few weeks after I stumbled across a quote:

When things aren’t working, the Universe is trying to save your ass.

I had to pause my Pinterest scrolling to let that settle all the way in. I mean, the concept isn’t much different from the good old: ‘when one door closes another one opens’; ‘something better is right around the corner’ or ‘what’s meant for you will always be for you.’ However, there was something about how that quote was phrased that made me want to sit up and pay attention. The other quotes, in my mind, encourage you to be hopeful about something that has not yet come to fruition: that elusive better thing, person, job, state of affairs that is right around the corner. The thought that the Universe is actually steering you away from something that might screw you up right now forces you to be grateful in this moment. And, there is power in that.


So the next time you don’t get what you want, sit with your disappointment because you are human. But do not dwell on it. If you can be sure you tried your best, didn’t slack off or didn’t self-sabotage, then perhaps it is time to shift your thinking. Maybe, just maybe, you haven’t contemplated what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from (Cormac McCarthy, No Country For Old Men.)

Maybe the Universe is just trying to save your ass.


Love. Laughter. Light.