Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How *NOT* to Deal with Rejection

So, last night, I had a dream that Jason decided his best life plan was to become some sort of bank/business robber, just like his "Great-Aunt Sally" from the 20's-- (who is completely fictional, btw)- only he was going to do it right this time instead of botching it up and living most of his life in jail like she did. Without my knowledge, he had pulled off two heists but then "the fuzz" was on to him, so he left and we broke up because he didn't want me to have to live that kind of life.

Then, when I woke up and checked my e-mail and there was a rejection notice for one of the few pieces I had out.

And I have a sore throat and a cold sore.

And everyday that I wake up without a call from an employer wanting to interview me hits a little bit harder and we are mid-way through my 3rd month sans job, so it's hitting pretty hard, these days.

So basically I've been feeling pretty rejected today. I mean, granted, Jason didn't actually break up with me to start a life of crime, but it is hard to not start feeling really dejected by all this rejection.

I'd like to write a post called "How to Deal with Rejection," but I don't know that I have a lot of handy tips. I know some things you shouldn't do... mainly because I do them. So here's a list of how *NOT* to deal with rejection.

1) Remember every previous rejection you've ever had. From the cute boys who never paid much attention to me, to not getting accepted to Missouri State Fine Arts Academy, to not getting certain scholarships that I interviewed for, to never getting any part that I really wanted in a play. I shouldn't remember them all and play back in my heart all the disappointment I've felt from reaching for something I really want and being told no.

2) Use absolute words like "always" and "never." Talking about how I'm always disappointed, is never a good idea, because it removes the possibility that there have been any gray areas or bright spots and it sounds like nothing has ever worked out, when, in actuality, I live a pretty happy life.

3) Take it personally. I've been a drama teacher, I've been on the panel for a literary journal, I've been on the other side of the hiring committee. Choices are never personal, they are based on talent level and chemistry and mood and balance and a hundred other things that aren't personal, but it still feels so personal, every time.

4) Avoid future rejection. This is my worst one. For a time in my life I tried to just stop wanting anything.  If I didn't care, then I couldn't be hurt. Which is technically true, but a terrible way to live life. I've gotten a little better about this, but I still am very emotionally reserved about practically everything. It's so hard for me to let go and loosen up, but I don't know how you can pretend that you don't want a job... being able to live is kinda important. I've wondered a few times if it was possible to get someone else to send my stuff out so that I would only hear if I got accepted, not if I was rejected, but that seems sort of a cheaty way to go about it.

5) Let your light go out. I just... I don't expect my life to be a movie or perfectly smooth. I don't expect to be a huge star who is known all over the world. But I would like to be known. I would like to make some sort of impact. I would like to actually make a living. I would really like to shine.

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