Rejection: when it hits, it hits hard.
I’ve been in a slump lately. A guilty one, admittedly… I’m in ITALY for Heaven’s sake. I get up, show up, and try every day. I spend hours doing research, seeking inspiration, and trying to meet new people. I write, I write other things, I delete, I publish. But there is an email folder full of rejections on my laptop. No matter how many times I edit my latest book, no matter how much I feel I’ve improved, I keep getting that dreaded “unfortunately, you are not what we are looking for.”
Let me tell you: it really freaking sucks.
At first, I try to look at all of the progress I’ve made. But I don’t feel any closer to my goals. Instead, I have the urge to work harder, longer, to find a way to do more. Needless to say, this cycle is tiring. Always on the hunt for perfection and never realizing my dreams. Always coming up short.
Are my hopes too high? Do I expect results too fast? I’ve been writing and getting rejection emails since I was ten, so I don’t believe that’s the case.
In life too, searching for people who click with you is exhausting. It’s tempting to think: you get me or you don’t; you fit my life or you don’t. But that’s harsh and unfair. It can be tricky for me to make solid friends because I’m tempted to rush the process, to already be as close to people as I am with my best friends back home. When I don’t feel that “vibe” I think it’s hopeless.
Finding the right people takes time. That’s why I’m so grateful for the friends I’ve made in college. They’ve (quite literally) seen me at my worst and at my best. Two of them are putzing around different parts of Europe too, and that’s pretty fricken neat.
This brings me to my latest realization: sometimes your friends are stronger than you and that’s okay. It’s okay to borrow some of their strength until you can get your own back. Because you know that when they need you, you’ll give them everything you have.
I keep reminding myself to be open-minded in the adventures of mind and heart. I don’t have an answer, or a quick way to heal the wounds of failure. But I can keep writing, keep putting myself out there. That’s all any of us can do, isn’t it?
How do you handle rejection, in life and in your personal endeavors?