Garth Brooks is Right

Foreword: I am going to be honest. Morgan Brooke Kelly is one of my favorite people God ever made. There are many reasons, one of which is her spirit and her ability to just be happy. She just chooses it, and even though I know she has bad days, she is tough and you won't see it. She will smile and be polite and hold the door for you. She is the kind of person who just preservers. She is simple in the things that are important to her, and she picks the most important things. I love that she is a fellow #goaldigger and that she will stop at nothing (as you will read in her post) to reach her goals. We all get kicked in the teeth sometimes, but how you deal with it is what sets you a part from the rest of the world. One of my favorite quotes is from Arnold Schwarzenegger, he says "The worst thing I can be is the same as everybody else. I hate that." Morgan is just not like anyone else, and that is something that I really appreciate and admire. There aren't many hearts out there like yours, Mo and I am thankful that God put another sister in my life. This post is so inspiring and I am so glad that my readers get to know a little piece of who you are. 

“Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers” is a famous line from one of my favorite Garth Brooks songs, and it has certainly proved to be true in my life. If you know me, you know that I am always working to better myself and those around me. I’ve been told that I can be a lot to handle sometimes. I have wild ideas, big dreams and an ambitious soul that has taken me down so many diverse paths. When I discover something I am passionate about, I run at it full force, relentlessly. Throughout my college career, I was always involved in several extracurricular activities and would be the first to volunteer a helping hand- even when I had a full plate.. (which was always!).  Although I have a few accomplishments under my belt that I am proud of, this blog is about failure- more specifically, it will highlight how to fail… and do it gracefully.   

A few years ago, I stumbled upon my one true calling in life- a career that couldn’t be more suited for my personality; a career as a Physician Assistant. Like I always do, I went “all in” and did everything I could to enhance my chance of acceptance into a program. I applied and was accepted into a prestigious Undergraduate program tailored specifically for the education of Pre-PA students. I climbed the ranks in the University of Kentucky Pre-Physician Assistant Student Association, and was named Vice President before eventually becoming President my senior year. I studied abroad and went on a medical mission trip to broaden my understanding of medicine and how to care for diverse populations. I became involved with KAPA and lobbied at the state capitol with PA students and PA-C’s to expand the rights for PA’s in Kentucky. I worked hard at my job as a Nursing Care Technician at UK HealthCare, and I shadowed several PAs to better understand the role of a mid-level provider. I yearned to gain as much experience as I could to prepare for my future role as a Physician Assistant.

When April 2015 came around, it was time for me to begin the CASPA application and apply to my “dream school”. I wanted to attend the University of Kentucky Physician Assistant Studies Program because one day I plan to serve rural populations in Kentucky. When I received an invitation to interview, I was ecstatic. After my interview, I waited anxiously for several days before receiving the devastating email stating that I had been placed on the Wait List... Although I remained optimistic, it soon became clear that I would not gain admittance into the program this year. But WHY? I poured my heart and soul into this profession. What did I do wrong? Why am I not good enough? I prayed for countless hours to be accepted so I could begin my dream career, and this is what I get? At the same time, I was also enduring a difficult time in my personal life. It felt like everything in my life was falling apart at once. I felt alone. Desolate. Hurt. I didn’t feel like I was good enough anymore and my heart was broken. Why is everyone giving up on me? I had worked so hard, and this didn’t make sense. I began to wonder why God would do this to me and what I had done so wrong.

After feeling defeated, embarrassment came. I was embarrassed that I had put so much effort into this profession and failed. That’s exactly how I felt- like a failure. I had to tell everyone who was rooting for me that I wasn’t accepted into the program I had worked so hard for. It was quite humbling to admit that I wasn’t competitive enough to be a member of the UKPAS Class of 2019 when I had given my all and put forth my absolute best. No one likes to be told that their best isn’t good enough.

It wasn’t until recently that I accepted the fact that everything really does happen for a reason. I recognize that this is a corny, clichéd phrase…For example, let’s say your car won’t start. Friend: “Everything happens for a reason.” You fall off a cliff. Friend: “Everything happens for a reason.” The vending machine takes your last 75 cents and you can’t get a Kit Kat. Friend: “Everything happens for a reason.”  Yes, that last one actually happened to me recently…  But you get the point. Although the people who repeatedly tell us this phrase do so with good intentions, we often move on without really, truly letting it sink in. Everything. Happens. For. A. Specific. Reason… It was starting to become clear to me that I wasn’t admitted into the program this year because God has a bigger plan for me- one that I don’t have to understand at this time.

Because I wasn’t accepted this year, I was able to get a second job that I am also passionate about... Y’all, I get to talk about hunting and fishing all day and get paid for it. I have met so many new friends and learned things that I never would have if I didn’t get the job. In February 2017, I get to represent Bourbon County at the Miss Kentucky United States pageant which is super exciting. I can’t wait to represent my town, meet new people and hopefully touch some lives in the process.  I also joined the Lady Bass Anglers Association and I’m so eager to meet all of my new friends in person and fish tournaments with them in the Spring! This semester I have been able to spend time with my family without stressing about school. None of these things would have been possible if I was admitted to the PA Program this year. Thank God for unanswered prayers.  

Through this experience, I have certainly grown into a more understanding person- someone who isn’t afraid of “failure” because of all the great things it can bring. I have also learned how to triumphantly stand after taking a lick square on the chin (and being knocked down a hill and rolled into a pile of doo). Okay, that was dramatic…but you get my point. My advice to you is to recognize that nothing is promised to you. The world owes you absolutely nothing. No matter how much you pray and work for something, sometimes your best will not be good enough. And that will be 100% okay. These misfortunes will oftentimes lead you to incredible places and position you exactly where you need to be at a given time.

For other overly enthusiastic people like me, it may be uncomfortable to have cynical thoughts and feel negative, but just know that it’s acceptable to feel that way. When you care about something so much and it slips through the cracks, it’s okay to feel defeated. It’s okay to be angry and hurt. It’s okay to lay in bed and watch Parks and Rec all day while eating ice cream. (Not that I know from experience or anything..)  All of these things are okay, as long as you know in your heart that the sun will rise again. Simply dust yourself off, take a moment to recollect and prepare for your next adventure. Set new goals while keeping an eye on your old ones.  Create the best with what you are given at this very moment and I promise you will be able to overcome your failures.  I am already preparing to reapply to the PA Program next year because I am not ready to give up on this dream. I have learned how to fail gracefully. *Cue the song “I get knocked down, but I get up again”* (Who even sings that?)

My final thought is about the individuals who help us through these trying times because we can’t do it alone. It is also important to keep in mind that there’s no substitution for the people who are always there to support you. If you’re lucky enough to have someone who never gives up on you and wants to stand by your side while you chase your wild dreams, you are fortunate beyond belief. Cherish these people.


Although on paper it looks like 2016 hasn’t been very kind to me, I know that all of these misfortunes are aligning me in the perfection direction for the best life that God has made for me. I cannot wait for all the adventures I will take and all the people I will meet in 2017.  If you are in a situation right now where you are questioning God’s plan for your life, just remember ~~what is meant for you will never pass you by and that Garth Brooks is right.


With love, 

B & Mo






Blaine MenkeComment