I’ve been thinking a lot about rejection lately. And though it would appear that I have been thoroughly rejected in the past 3 months that I’ve been searching for a job, I must disagree. I haven’t been rejected enough. Here’s what I mean:
Out of the many jobs that I applied to, how many of them did I really, REALLY want? Well, I mean, if wanting a job means that I want money to roll in, then I guess I wanted all of them. But if wanting means putting my heart into that job day in and day out, then I probably only wanted about 4 of them. Actually, after a rather ridiculous interview, I only wanted 3.
Here’s the thing: have I really put myself out when it comes to what I actually want? I write about choosing a door; about standing up and pointing toward the horizon, but I’m not sure that I actually do it. No, I’m too scared to.
There are things that I want, but if a fancy job with lots of dollar signs comes along in the meantime, I probably wouldn’t hesitate to take that. Who would? But I seem to have hit a wall. And every wall is a door, right? So how come I’m not walking through that door? Because I don’t want to be rejected!
Fact of life: we will all be rejected. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” If I can get used to rejection, then maybe I won’t be so scared of it. But I’m not used to it, because I don’t put myself out there enough – or at all – for the things I really want.
What I want is to polish up some of my rough work and submit it to some magazines. I’ve “wanted” to do that for a long time. And for a long time I’ve had a lot of time on my hands, it just seems that I haven’t been able to make the commitment to go forth and do.
Good ol’ Don writes of something similar in A Million Miles in a Thousand Years:
My friend Mike knows an ugly guy who dates beautiful women. He dates them for a while and then moves on to other beautiful women. Mike looked at me and asked, “You know how he does it?” Mike said the way the guy did it is he didn’t care whether he got rejected. He said only about one out of ten girls actually went out with the guy.
I don’t want to date a bunch of beautiful women, because the pretty ones can be annoying. They stamp their feet and clench their fists because they can’t have whatever the equivalent of a pony happens to be. But I do think there was something to what Mike was saying, that the great stories go to those who don’t give into fear (Miller 107-108).
Sofia Vergara, star of Modern Family, says we must embrace failure: “The only way to gain something is to take a risk at something. I’ve been rejected for many jobs, many movies, but I don’t take it as a failure. I just move on.”
So here’s to choosing a door! And if it’s slammed in my face, so be it. I’ll just have to suck it up and keep on knocking.