Rejection

We’ve all experienced rejection. Relationships and jobs seem to be the ones most people experience on a regular basis.

I’ve been rejected more often than I’ve been the rejector when it comes to relationships. I’m not saying that to wallow; I’m just stating a fact. I’m more likely to stick things out than to run away, an odd combination of optimism and fear of the unknown. It hurts to be rejected. We ask ourselves difficult questions after a relationship ends, like: “Why wasn’t I good enough?” “What does he(she) have that I didn’t?” “What did I do wrong?” Sometimes those questions don’t ever get answered.

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Job rejections are in the double-digits at this point in my life. Some came without an interview, and some came after an interview. The ones that came after an interview hurt the worst, especially the jobs I really wanted and know I would have been good at. There was one I applied for twice. The first time, I was interviewed and didn’t quite make the cut out of three people. I felt so defeated. The next time the job came open, I tried again before the search was changed to something else. By the time it came around again, I had given up.

Artists are privileged to get to experience it on a whole new level. The rejection of our voice, our work, the deepest expressions of ourselves. Musicians, visual artists, writers—I think it stings no matter what when we share something with the world and get criticism. Everyone is entitled to their own tastes and opinions. I try to find something positive to say about other artists’ work when they share it with me, even if it’s to say that it isn’t my usual genre and then point out something I liked about it. I try not to leave bad reviews on books if the author is still living. I probably rate books higher than I do other works of art because I know how difficult it is to write a novel. Continue reading “Rejection”

Dreams and things

When I graduated high school, I gave the benediction to my classmates and our families. In my brief speech, which I seriously wrote in about 15 minutes, I quoted Eleanor Roosevelt’s words you see above.

I had so many dreams back then. Dreams to travel. A dream to find romantic love so I wouldn’t feel so alone all the time. Dreams to be the author of published books. As a young woman, those dreams kept me going like nothing else. I could imagine greatness ahead of me.

Venice, 2001

I traveled twice before I got married. Once to Italy for spring break in 2001, visiting Venice, Florence, Rome and Pompeii. The trip was through school, so I had tour guides and a few people I knew from classes. I will never forget the things I saw, especially standing in the middle of the Sistine Chapel and feeling so small, yet part of the whole world at the same time. It was breathtaking. Continue reading “Dreams and things”

Quitting: Is it failure?

Quit. It can be such a negative word. I’ve heard messages my entire life of “don’t quit” or “don’t give up.”

I use the word “quit” with my kids almost every single day in the form of “Quit fighting!” I laugh at that because they’re never going to stop fighting. When they really get into an argument that won’t let up, I make them do more chores. I figure if they’re going to fight, they might as well do something productive while they argue.

We encourage our children to stick with sports or their music, dance or karate lessons that we may or may not have pressured them into taking in the first place. Quitters never win, and winners never quit, right? But let’s get real here, what if someone legitimately sucks at something? Is it okay to quit then? Must they have exhausted all efforts and failed first? Is failing once enough to quit? Twice? Three times?

What if you truly hate what you’re doing? What if doing it crushes a piece of your soul with every breath? Then, is it acceptable to quit? Continue reading “Quitting: Is it failure?”