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.
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.