What I learnt this week: A little note on rejection

‘It is not the critic that counts; not the man who points how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again.

Because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…’

Theodore Roosevelt

I wanted to start with this amazing quote because this week I was rejected. And it made me question whether I wanted to continue daring greatly…

On Monday morning I woke up with searing pain in my left shoulder which was pulsing into my brain. Fun times. I’m a firm believer that our emotions can cause pain to manifest physically in our bodies.

So what was going on for me?  Well…It was the day I found out if I graduated from being on the long list for a mentorship with Film Vic to the short list.  I waited all day; nervously anticipating.

I got the email-

‘Sorry but we don’t think you’re good enough. You’re a loser who should give up on writing. You’re not unique, funny or smart. You probably don’t have any friends and you will end up as a cat lady.’

Of course they didn’t really say that. But that’s how I felt after reading the email. Because when you put your work out there you’re being vulnerable and opening yourself up to criticism and rejection.

Needless to say I was devastated. Constantly getting close to something but still not getting there is tough. So I cried, I got drunk, I went to the gym (before I got drunk), I phoned a friend and I grieved.

The next day I woke up and the pain was gone. I felt rubbish because of the gin but something in me said- ‘yeah, you didn’t win but you know what; you were in the race.’

And that’s why the quote from our mate Teddy is so important- I showed up.  I tried. And I realised that’s what counted.  Being rejected didn’t take away from my hard work, it didn’t take away from me.  So, thankfully my body let go of the pain because I did.

The thing is rejection isn’t personal, everyone deals with it. And it will inevitably keep coming. But it doesn’t mean you give up. Because if you’re working towards something you want, that is what’s important. That’s what you hold on to. Nothing else matters but that you keep trying.

After the lows of the week, came the highs 🙂

The Christmas get togethers were in full swing-

  • Mum and I cooked a delicious salmon din dins and swapped pressies. (We’re heading to QLD for Chrissy and didn’t want to lug everything up there). One of my gifts was an adult colouring book. And let me tell you they’re awesome. If you want a little cheap therapy- get colouring!
  • Thursday night I headed into the city. Caught up with Hannah; we chilled by the river.  It was an incredibly beautiful evening in Melbourne, as we strolled through South bank after a Chinese feast
  • I hung out with Heather on Friday, who I haven’t seen since we left London. She’s a Sydney sider who has converted to a Melbournian, so I had the honour of taking her to a couple of my fav eating and drinking haunts in the city
  • And Saturday night there was a little celebration at ‘The Saint’ with Roz and her friends. Man, that place sure has changed (no more black holes; where you’re too scared for the lights to come on and see that the person you’re kissing is actually a zombie).  P.S. the food was sooooo good.

I did fit in a bit of work between the celebrations but the wind down of 2015 has very much begun…


One thought on “What I learnt this week: A little note on rejection

  1. Thanks Sally I needed that post! I’ve been struggling this week with the fact that after being made redundant, 12 months later I am STILL unemployed. It never occurred to me that would happen. It’s knocked me around a bit and I’m struggling not to take the rejection personally. So thanks for reminding me that I really am ok and worthwhile and employable and I should just keep on hanging in there. And Merry Christmas Sally xox

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