Rejection isn’t something we want to talk about, it’s embarrassing. We don’t like knowing that someone thought we weren’t capable enough.
I recently applied to a degree program. It was like a “DIY” degree program of sorts. I was so sure that this was the program that would solve all of my problems and answer all my questions about how to turn my interests into a job.
I slaved away on my application for months, talking with the director of the program, different professors and students trying to formulate a kickass curriculum for myself.
The day finally came for my interview. I walked in with confidence and spoke with confidence. I laid all my cards on the table, showing my portfolio and everything I have ever been involved in and why.
I thought I had done splendidly. And then two hours after the interview I was in class when I received and email saying that I was not accepted into the program. I walked at warp speed to the bathroom and sobbed in a stall, calling my mom repeatedly until she answered.
I had never experienced rejection like that. What was I going to do? I was so sure that plan A would work out I hadn’t even thought to formulate a plan B.
After having a sad day I woke up the next day furious. I wanted so badly to march up to the committee that interviewed me and say, “You missed out!” Alas, I didn’t. It was just a wonderful daydream that helped me deal with my feelings.
Just like most experiences (good or bad) I learned a few things.
First, feel what you’re feeling. Get mad and say a bunch of words your mama wouldn’t approve of.
Second, accept that some people won’t see your vision, as you know it is.
Third, know that you have a right to affirmation. For some reason we’ve got it stuck in our heads that looking for affirmation is “weak.” Well, I’m tellin’ you it ain’t. It’s called being a human.
And lastly, remind yourself to keep doing, keep making mistakes and keep getting rejected, its bound to be acceptance eventually.