Rejection. As the great Oprah Winfrey once said: “I don’t want anyone who doesn’t want me”. I have been dealing with this reality a lot lately. I was told- perhaps even warned about how it would begin to consume my life. You go through 4 years of undergraduate to complete a degree and in that time, you work hard. You try to accomplish everything you put your mind to and you are able to see the fruits of your labour four years later. But what happens when you don’t?
Maybe it is premature but I did not expect to experience this much rejection so early on. As a newly minted university graduate- I experienced the first instance of “rejection” when someone close to me decided it would be best to refer me to apply to Sephora instead of aiming for ‘real-life jobs’ associated with my field. It is as if I went through the trials and tribulations of school just to apply to Sephora. Don’t get me wrong, Sephora seems like such a dope job- the makeup, the perfumes- the skin care! It is like a little piece of heaven in this Dunya but to hear this type of advice from someone you looked up to? Disappointing. Perhaps I naively believed that a degree would equal job experiences and chances from “the real world” but all it qualifies you for is a licence for disappointment and retail outlets letting you know that you are either overqualified or underqualified to work at Old Navy. When you apply to jobs in general- in many instances, experience is needed for that experience so if a job posting needs 1-2 years of experience, you start to wonder, how can I cultivate this experience without someone taking a chance on me?
It is inevitable and yet every time you experience rejection, it is hard not to lose a little piece of your confidence every time. As frustrating as it is- I find this moment to be quite promising as it will make whatever opportunities that I am working towards- that much more worth it. From the jobs you apply to, to the #shootyourshot2017 moments you indulge in- it seems like rejection is at the forefront of the opportunities you try to go after.
Speaking of Shoot your shot 2017? We’ve got to talk. It is only May and I feel like I have really taken advantage of this phenomenon this year. I have shot my shot with the best of em, I have put myself out there in all aspects of life: academically, personally, emotionally and succeeded- maybe most of the time but what happened during this season of #shootmyshot2017? It seems to me that the time has come and gone for people to shoot their shot with a prospective bae or boo(s). Rejection and #shootyourshot2017 are a little interchangeable as you never know how someone will react to your vulnerability. Perhaps you are brave enough to approach someone in a coffee shop, say… leave a note on their table as they use the washroom facilities? Perhaps you engage with a wounded poet at a poetry slam event but are shot down after you realize *some* poets are a little socially inept? Perhaps you quickly scribble down your number on a moving train and drop it into the lap of an unsuspecting woman who is *coincidentally* drawing you for her OCAD portfolio.
The possibilities are endless! (If any of these examples sound specific it is because I just happen to have a interestingly vibrant imagination). Whatever the case and the possibility may be, it is easy to get frustrated with the idea of no results. When you work hard enough on something and are unable to see the results that you envision in your mind, it is easy to get frustrated with the overarching ideal that you are apart of. It is easy to then reject the notion of putting yourself out there in the first place as it has garnered little to no results.
From the jobs you apply to to the #shootmyshot’s that you experience, what happens when rejection starts to feel like a looped song, playing over and over again with no future or promises of ever changing its tune? How do we deal with rejection when it is always feeling like a constant? The truth is- you just keep going. My mother always says: “rejection will humble you” and as painful as rejection feels, as stagnant as you feel your progression in life is, you will move forward that much stronger and wiser due to your experiences. Rejection can feel debilitating especially when you are someone who suffers from any sort of anxiety or self-esteem issues but to keep going even when you are faced with “defeat” will allow you to build a tolerance to how you are feeling. It will allow you to continue and learn from what did not work out, from your failed experiences, from the ‘shaky’ guys you shot your shot with and ended up being total creeps- from the people who you went above and beyond for and who rejected you as a means of their own insecurities, you will be able to learn from it all and rise above.
While rejection may ‘humble you,’ it is important to note that it is an essential part of furthering your future goals and aspirations. It hurts in the moment but I find rejection to be the best thing for personal growth. While I may be feeling the plight and the depth of rejection right now, I hope that by this time next year, I am fully integrated into a job that compliments both my majors, to continue with the growth of this blog, to continue writing, to not allow people to take away from my victories or my truths and to live each day as a start for a new perspective on my life.