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Trying Out

Trying Out

We regret to tell you that your work was not among those selected by the juror.  
Yesterday’s Email

Rejection can disappoint you, depress you and may even stop you in your tracks…

learn not to take rejection so personally…

if you’re honest with yourself and believe in your work,

others will too.  

Bev Jozwiak

Deconstruction Writing/Thinking Retreat, Big Sur, California 2017

When I was in 10th grade I tried out for cheerleading and didn’t make the team.

I was surprised because I thought I did pretty darn good. I was mad and hurt that I didn’t make it.

It reminds me of a Brene Brown story and how she tried out for a team and was very disappointed not to see her name on the roster posted with the girls who did make the team. That, and an email I received yesterday, got me thinking about all this.

My new friends at my new high-school made the team but I didn’t. I remember feeling dejected, left out and sad. It was a big blow to my ego and self-esteem.

I was always a good athlete, competitive, OK, maybe too competitive, but still a good athlete so I had never known what it feels like to get picked last or to not get picked at all. That would change.
Now I knew. It was a good lesson for me, though I’m pretty sure I didn’t see it that way then.

So here I am many decades later still trying out.

Still submitting my photos for contests. Still trying out in the world of photography, and before that, in the world of music and before that, college and let’s not forget the numerous try outs… for a J-O-B.

Trying out. Putting yourself out there with the knowledge you may not be accepted.

I received and continue to receive rejection letters, form letters, acceptance letters.

I could wall-paper a barn with all my rejection letters!

I have received some of the nicest rejection letters from book publishers and agents when I sent out queries for my book, Beauty and Wisdom.

Still, like yesterday, I was disappointed. For a minute I had that knee-jerk reaction of the 14-year-old I was in high-school when I didn’t make the cheerleading team. Then I remembered, this is life and what is rejected today, can be accepted tomorrow.

I am reminded to not take things personally, because really,  it’s not personal at all.

I still feel good about taking the time and effort to get my work in front of an acclaimed juror…for trying…for putting my work ‘out’ there.

So here’s to trying out… over and over and over … don’t give up, and I won’t either.

To your courage and resilience,

Robbie
 
The following year in high-school, 1976, I made the varsity cheerleading squad. Yes, I was happy to make the team. However, the best part was that I got to create wonderful memories and connections with friends who were and weren’t cheerleaders. I didn’t feel any more accepted than I did the previous year.  And I had no idea that in 2 years time, all of it would change again and lead to learning what it’s like to be a social outcast, my road to empathy… but that’s for another post from Raw from the Road!