REJECTION: JOBS, SHOOT YOUR SHOT 2017, GOALS & ASPIRATIONS

HelloHalima, Life

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.

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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. 

love me, love me not

HelloHalima, Life, Written Pieces

 

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The art of rejection and feelings of unrequited love is similar to someone pouring salt into an open wound, it stings and hurts but eventually you clean it out and get over it. Or so we think. I remember as a child, the ideals of love were so simple, you meet someone, and you fall in love and live happily ever after, the end. At least… that’s what my naïve self believed. Growing up, when I thought about love, I envisioned a feeling, an emotion that is endless and all consuming, an image of two people falling in love and riding off into the sunset only to live happily ever after.  Recently, the idea of unrequited love boggles my mind. Where is the love for the ones who love but are not loved back? The dejection that is linked to someone not reciprocating your deeply rooted feelings, the sadness that is a consequence of wilful ignorance. Unrequited love is the illness to its counterpart, happiness and total contentment. A wise person once said, “Isn’t it ironic…we ignore those who adore us, adore those who ignore us, hurt those who love us, and love those who hurt us.” This wise person might have been onto something. Although highly cliché, this ironic sentiment is the basis for all of our romantic misgivings. While we might love love, we definitely do not like the idea of unrequited love. When we are not appreciated or loved in the same way, it creates a clash between the hope for our romantic present intertwining with that of our future relationships. The idea of unrequited love is something we have all experienced in some shape or form. Perhaps through a crush on the boy/girl at school, secret feelings for your best friend, a date or two with a guy/girl from Tinder but it does not work out. For whatever reason, fate, or the divine universe or whatever you might believe in is playing referee. Walking the halls of UTSC, I began to wonder whether this problem was a recurring phenomenon amongst my peers. How many times have you been dragged through the mud in the pursuit of love?

They say it is better to have loved than lost but what if you are a victim of both? This is precisely what unrequited love is, the painful instance of loving someone who does not feel the same way. To think about unrequited love and rejection, we must first look at the critical component of who is involved. There’s a naïve- butterflies in your stomach-can’t sleep without thinking about it- stage in a relationship that has you transfixed and convinced that everything is fine and dandy, when that is not always the case. The majority of the time, we fantasize and project our own dreams and expectations onto the other. This in turn allows for disappointment when things do not work out between the other person. I asked a few students at UTSC about this conventional set of notions and I was surprised to find out the different levels of unrequited love/rejection that existed. When asked about experiencing this issue, Idil, a third year arts management student said, “I remember back in high school, I guess I kind of experienced it with one guy…” she added, “it eventually led to something better cause I ended up getting with his friend instead!” after laughing jokingly, she later added: “When I think about love, I think about the relationship between me and my cat, Chester. He’s like a user and abuser, I give him my all and he doesn’t appreciate me as much as I appreciate him, and he chooses every family member but me! But honestly, it’s life! Not everybody is going to love you or like you at some point in your life but you gotta move on and appreciate yourself for who you are and KNOW that there are other people out there that will appreciate you back… maybe I should get a new cat though…”

The social aspect of rejection is one that is the basis of all fundamental romance. It is evident in the Films/TV shows we watch, the books we read and the music we listen too. “When I think of unrequited love, I think of rom-coms! Movies like Never Been Kissed and 500 Days of Summer are the backbone of our society.” says Nikita Singh, a fourth year Health Studies student. Time and time again, the hurt and turmoil that people feel through this unrequited love is one that is a synthesis of the romantic period. Hurt and pain sells, if you don’t believe me, ask Drake! In this commercialized appraisal of unrequited love, how do we even begin to pick up the pieces of our broken selves to ensure moving on? The idea of self-reflection and healing is the most crucial step in order to recover from the sting of rejection and unrequited love. The first thing you need to realize is, it’s their loss! As overused and wildly cliché as that sentiment is, your actions of infatuation are not made in vain if someone does not appreciate and love you for who you are. You are a badass! You are smart; you are loyal (I appreciate you *DJ Khaled Voice*). Aashna Thakkar, a fourth year New Media Studies student had some final wise words to share, “If a guy rejects you, it’s his loss! There’s plenty of other fish in sea, as they say!” So despite initial fears and reservations, continuously putting yourself out there will contribute to your experiences and drive you one step closer to your desired, everlasting romance.