A Jill of All Trades. A Master of None. Let's Talk Rejection.
Ok, so one of the main reasons I tend to shy away from posting anything that might be considered "negative" on the blog is because I would never want to come across as ungrateful or selfish. I also find myself feeling guilty anytime I start to dwell on my own problems, because I instantly think of all of the people in the world that have much larger problems than myself.
But let's face it, no one's life is a meadow full of unicorns and we are all going to get upset sometimes no matter how hard we try to push our problems behind others. Today is one of those days for me. And I wanted to write about this while it was fresh.
This Winter has been draining on the career/money front. I finally have a day job that I am in love with, and that allows me the time to make art and work freelance, which is what I wanted. But I work at a non-profit and my hourly is not much. My freelance has gone from slim to none as the Winter has drawn out and I find myself drained of almost every financial resource.
I've also been working like a maniac on new drawings and paintings, mostly because I've felt inspired to do so, but the influx in work has made me crave having my work shown in a more physical capacity. Today I dealt with yet another round of rejection.
I feel defeated.
I look around and see so many of my friends being so successful and with seemingly every resource and connection they could need and I'm sitting here with a million drawings in a room alone.
Sounds pitiful, I know, and it is.
But as the moments after rejection pass, and the tears start to subside, moments of clarity and questioning take place.
Why do I do art at all? Seems like a waste of time. I may not have enjoyed my desk jobs - I was downright miserable at times, but should I be struggling to pay for food every month, just to work on art that it seems no one will see in real life?
And then I realize that the rejection is making me take a harder look at why I do what I do, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. What is important? How in the world would my life be more fulfilling going back to a meaningless job, where I experience no real challenge or reward.
Rejection of your personal work is a personal thing. It is much more painful than being angry that
no-one made coffee at the office this morning, or that a pallet or packing material is going to be delayed. Those things are trivial in comparison to feelings of worthlessness.
But then I suppose, all of this rejection makes the times when you get that letter/email that says "Congrats" instead of "We regret to inform you" that much sweeter. This is me trying to be optimistic again, and really, I'll most likely be curling up in a blanket of self-pity for at least a couple more hours, but at least the spark of hopefulness is there.
I'll leave you with a quote from Stephen King that I have always loved and is sitting on my lap today.
By the time I was fourteen … the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and kept on writing.