As a writer, I was told a million times by others around me—and as I climbed the ladder, I turned and told another million behind me—one thing over and over again: learn to love rejections. Get them. Earn them. Take from them what you can. Move on. Because (say it with me kids…) they’re just one person’s opinion.

And while it’s true, it strikes me that by the time we’re old enough (read as brave enough) to submit something to be rejected, we should already be fully aware of what that feels like and how to handle it.

We’ve experienced rejection in a number of ways throughout our adolescence, let alone lifetime. Rejected at that school dance by the dreamy girl/guy we’d been eyeballing all night. Rejected for the pep squad or cheer leading or drama try-outs. Rejected by the cool kids, the smart kids, or in some cases, all the kids. Rejected from who knows how many colleges you applied to, or jobs you interviewed for, or people you attempted to hit on in any variety of locations (notwithstanding really bad pickup lines in bars which deserved rejection, if not pointing and laughing, and/or slapping). I mean really, think about it. If you had to count how many times you’ve been rejected (outside of writing/submitting or similar masochisms) you may be surprised when you really think about it.

They didn’t kill us. We’re still here. Scars sometimes shown off for cool points and other times hidden underneath like trackmarks hidden by longsleeves—what people don’t see they won’t know, right? But you’re still here. Rejected or not. And, well, it also happens to be thursday. That’s right, there it is… garage talk.

So, tell me about the worse rejection you’ve dealt with—whether real life or writing. I took a few real life rejections a bit hard this week and could use it, so give me a pick-me-up. Make me laugh. Make me groan in empathy. Tell me about the job you moved crossed-country for and didn’t get. Tell me about the girl you gave up everything for only to find out she didn’t like you “that way.” Tell me whatever you’ve got, big or little, they’re all rejections and they all count. And yes, left at the altar is an automatic winner. Cuz damn…


5 Responses to Rejection

  • paula says:

    While pregnant with my oldest daughter ,her father told me he found someone else and couldn’t be with me anymore. Talk about rejection, I stayed hidden away in my room for 6 months. Looking back , I’m glad he walked away because (as you know) I now have a wonderful husband and family.

  • Alyn Day says:

    When I was a small child, I spent several weeks making my father a diorama of his office as a birthday present. I poured my heart and soul into that thing, and by the time I was finished there was more of me in my creation than was left in the actuality of me… It was hard to keep it under wraps when I so desperately wanted to give it to my father, but I waited through it. Eventually his birthday rolled around and I, naive little child, presented it to him with the ardor and enthusiasm of one for whom “rejection” is just another entry in Webster’s… he barely glanced at it before shoving it back into my hands and saying “I don’t have room for this sh*t.”

  • John Foley says:

    Kelli, sorry to hear about the rejections. But we both know you’re better than that.

    Now my rejection story: A few years ago I was out with a few friends at alocal bar and there was a very beautiful woman sitting at the bar by herself. My friend Mark told me to go talk to her and through my shyness I worked up the courage to just go on over and give it a try. I sat next to her and asked her if I could buy her a drink. She replied with an enthusiatic yes. I was very excited. When the drinks arrived she lifted hers and turned towards me, dumping teh drink in my lap and saying: “Can you see me?” I was quite confused and didn’t reply. She again asked if I could see her. I said: “Yes.” A little confused still. She then said “If so than you should know you’re wasting your time trying to hit on me.” And she got up and left. Leaving me in humiliation as my “friends” all laughed heartily at me on my way back to the table we shared.

    The end

  • John Foley says:

    Oh…. I WIN!

  • Jeff Prettyman says:

    On my first day of high school (insert 90% of all stories involving women over the next four years, here).
    And then I graduated.

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