The echo of a rejection is more painful than the jarring sound of that particular door slamming shut. This is the thought that woke me today. I’m submitting my work more and more each day, keeping track of where I’m sending what and when. I’m writing every day. Things is going well, strictly speaking.
Each time I throw my ideas out into the wind I open myself up for rejection and disappointment. I knew that going in. It reminds me of being a teenager, it reminds me a LOT of being a teenager. I was tall and gangly, I was thin and awkward. My chances of getting interest from a member of the opposite sex were significantly limited because of my attending an all girl’s Catholic High School. Still, the all boys Catholic High School next door offered some hope I suppose.
I remember distinctly the confusion I felt entering High School. How awfully young I felt and how much pressure descended on my that first moment I walked through the parking lot. Little fish, big pond. I so wish there had been room made for me to take the time I needed to figure out my place there. It was assembly line sorting all the way. I played the piano and got decent albeit not stellar grades so I was shunted to the mismatch pile. That was alright, they were a friendly lot. In the long run it probably worked in my best interest that I was put into the “misc.” or “other” bin. As much as I lament being “sorted” at all I find gratitude that all my poking around and wandering near and far in the identity game formed a fairly interesting grown up version of me. I think I can say that without sounding egotistical, can’t I?
Nonetheless, the early encounters with rejection as I poked around that High School parking lot of life lessons still ring in me, deep. I remember every rejection and so little of the acceptance. This makes me sad as I reflect on it because it would be easy for me to build all my memories around the rejections and that’s not really fair to the acceptances, is it?
Maybe the advice I got in those years amounted to, “just keep trying” because that is evidently what I did. I didn’t give up. I kept knocking on doors as they came to me. I hope that what I’m learning now as I enter this new arena in my writing life is to walk through open doors, embrace the acceptances that come and brush off the rejections. I hope that I can do that with all grace and humility. In the end I want to come out of it all believing that I’m a good writer, that I have something to say and that I will eventually grow into my awkward self.