I got another lovely slip in the mail. I got my other slip last week, but I had other things to write about here. At least this was handwritten as opposed to just another form letter. At least, I got a letter as opposed to just more silence coming my way on the pieces I send in.
Of course, rejection isn't always limited to writing. At this time of year, many people are still getting over their college rejections in their school. Sometimes it comes in the form of that guy who tells you that he doesn't like you back, sometimes it comes in that group of girls who makes it obvious you don't fit in and sometimes it comes in the form of a special school course you just didn't get into. In summary, this all boils down to one general theme. One general message. It's the one that says, "You're not good enough." This isn't always with malicious intent, but the message still stands. You might not good enough for whatever reason but still, not good enough. Sometimes, I hold that message closer to heart than I should and I can get a little sensitive from time to time about those kind of things.
As a writer, a thick skin has to be developed. I'll give credit to myself in that regard. At the sight of a rejection letter, I usually feel indifference. It was different before, those first few times I sent stuff in. I remember the first time I sent my poetry out in seventh grade. I was so sure that I was going to get in because it was such a small little magazine. Surely that meant I had to get in, right? I couldn't be that bad. Wrong. The magazine explicitly said they didn't respond to pieces they rejected, so I put the pieces together and got the drift. Needless to say, I was more than a little disappointed. As the situation repeated itself over and over again (often with a tangible rejection, however), I adjusted. Now, I might sigh a little bit and scan it for something worthwhile to my writing (which occasionally is there. Form letters, I'm sad to say, don't offer that).
Real life rejection, unfortunately, is much harder for me to deal with. While I can deal with a flamer on fanfiction, I can't say the same for someone who flames me in real life. Odd stares and snickers will be enough to shut me up for the rest of the period, even if I still want to actively voice my thoughts on the topic at hand. Unfortunately, this seems to happen much more often than I would like and I do take that kind of thing personally. Of course, not all of it is that obvious. Sometimes, it's simply the indifference of someone I wanted to be my friend, someone that I wanted to like me. It all says the same thing, though. Silently, they are telling me that I am weird and not good enough for their respect and admiration. Unlike with them, I can't change the product I dish out. If I try to change it (and oh, how I've tried!), something similar will come out anyway but it will only just be something fake too. Worse than before.
It's hard to ignore these voices, despite how useless I know they are. As the school year comes to an end, at least I wouldn't have to deal with that. I won't have to deal with people who don't want to deal with me and who think I'm weird and everything. My self-confidence can heal for a little bit, even though I'll still have to deal with that same treatment from my sister during the summer. Oh well. While I don't respect those who have rejected me rudely (my sister included), I still seek their approval anyway. I don't know why, but I do. Somehow that's supposed to validate me and make my flaws magically disappear. It's supposed to tell me that somehow they do think I'm good enough, and that I don't make them cringe to look at.
Two blends of this are getting rejected from programs I want to get into. One was a writing camp and the other a private school. While I am actually thankful for the latter, the writing camp I was quite disappointed about. I wasn't outright rejected to either of these groups, but I was put on a waiting list (which actually worked out for the writing camp after a super long time of hanging out in limbo). That's a bit different, but somehow that's worse. When I get rejected from programs, that's taking away an opportunity for me.
Rejection is a part of life. When I made the decision to share my daily scribbles with the world, I was opening myself up to criticism. While I can't say that I've asked for the rejection I've received from my peers, that's a part of life too. I have two choices in both regards: I can cry about it and shut myself off or I can get off my ass and try again. No matter what the endeavor is, the same applies to every other situation.
Does it hurt? Yes. I know that even past the indifference and the numbness I can put up, it still hurts. I can survive rejection, though, in whatever form it comes it. It might be lurking around the corner waiting to snap its lovely jaws at me, but I have weapons of my own too. Maybe this time around, I won't be afraid to use them. This time, I have strength.