No Thanks

If there’s one thing I ought to be used to by now, it’s rejection.  For years I worked as a free-lance writer, placing some articles in magazines and newspapers, and even selling a children’s book.  But for every acceptance, I received at least twenty rejections. Eventually I acquired a whole file drawer just bursting with rejection letters.  A few of them were personal (which I counted as a small victory), but the majority were simply the form letters that publishers sent out to every writer who sent them a manuscript or proposal that they didn’t want.

And the rejections weren’t limited to my writing career.  When I was fresh out of college with an English degree, I applied to any job that was even remotely related to writing.  In return, I got a few interviews, a ton of rejection letters and zero job offers.  Eventually, I was so desperate that I ended up working as a secretary for a small seminary.  There’s nothing wrong with being a secretary….it’s an important job….but it wasn’t at all what I wanted to be doing.

One way or another, rejection and I are very well acquainted.  So it surprises me how much rejection can still hurt, all these years later.  You’d think I would have developed an immunity to it somewhere along the line, but I haven’t.  It still stings, especially when it feels personal.  Which tells me that I am still putting far too much value on what other people think of me, and not nearly enough on what I think of myself.

I know it’s only natural to feel hurt by rejection.  It’s hard when an old friend gradually becomes too busy to get together, or when someone I’ve just met at a party immediately looks over my shoulder for someone more interesting.  I once went to a church dinner by myself, and I put my plate of food down at a table where four other people were sitting and then went to get a drink.  When I returned with my glass of water, all four of them had moved to a different table.  I’d be lying if I said that didn’t sting.

The trick, I think, is to remember that I have no control over how other people are going to react to me, and to remember that often their reaction has nothing to do with me at all.  Maybe my old friend really was much busier than usual.  And maybe the person looking over my shoulder at a party is searching for someone she’s supposed to be meeting.  And as rude as their behavior was, maybe the people I sat down with at the church dinner were trying to save seats for the rest of their family and just didn’t know how to tell me that when I approached their table.

But even when someone is actually rejecting me, I need to remember that their opinion of me is just that:  their opinion.  And that while it feels good to have others appreciate and validate us, what ultimately matters is that we recognize our own self-worth and not wait for others to acknowledge it for us.

As a writer, I survived all those rejection letters by reminding myself of the simple truth that just because a publisher didn’t want my manuscript didn’t actually mean that my manuscript had no value.  It just meant that particular publisher didn’t think it could make a profit selling my book.  So I kept writing, and I kept sending out my manuscripts and queries, and I did make some sales.  I was very intentional about believing in the value of what I had written.  And sometimes I need to work just as hard at believing in the value of me.

128 thoughts on “No Thanks

  1. Wow, Ann! This blog was really uplifting and inspiring to me. I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability. I also love your persistency. You hit the nail on the head 🔨 when you reminded us that our self-worth doesn’t come from other people, and that instead, we need to be the the one who recognize our own worth. Thank you for writing this!

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Rejection is a horrible place to be. I go through the normal chain of human reaction. Initially, anger, then hurt, then self-doubt, then depression and finally, hearing the Lord’s voice inside me saying,” But, I promise to love you forever no matter what. Isn’t that enough?” Rejection years ago was a major hurdle in life, now it’s just a speed bump on life’s highway. Great post, Ann. Thanks for the reminder.

    Liked by 6 people

    • I like the way you put that, Larry…” a speed bump on life’s highway. That is exactly all rejection should be. It will always sting a little, but then we need to shrug it off and remind ourselves that we don’t need everyone’s approval. Thanks for your honest and insightful comment!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Larry! You might like the book Uninvited by Lisa TerKeurst. The chapter that I’m reading right now is about living in the Fullness of God. Since God loves us, we should lived like were loved; God is the one who defines our identity.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. Dear Ann, I believe it is time for you to change the title of your blog. I would suggest a more attractive alternative, such as ‘Blazing through my Middle Age’. Of course, this is no criticism, but rather a comment on your positive way of self-assessment. I could praise your writing skills, which no doubt have improved over the course of your life. However, the best technical style is meaningless, unless there is meaningful content to go with it. I could ramble on for ever, but to make a long story short, I admire your blog, which is definitely a cut above the rest. I feel humbled that you follow my story and always find something encouraging to say. Thank you, Ann!

    Liked by 8 people

    • Thanks so much, Peter! I may be working hard to ignore criticism, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a sincere compliment, because I do…and I hope you know how much your encouragement means to me.
      As for following your story, I am happy to do that. You write very well, and the story of how you and your wife got together…complete with your adventures trying to settle into a foreign country is very interesting! I’m enjoying it very much.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Loved your post. I take rejection personally most of the time and I know I shouldn’t but it’s a hard habit to break. So glad to see someone else’s perspective on this. You offer hope.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Oh, Janette, it is such a hard habit to break. And believe me, I backslide on a regular basis. But it gets easier with time, and with being intentional about not depending on the approval of others. I used to actively seek out validation from other people all the time, and it isn’t a recipe for a happy and fulfilled life, trust me! Keep working on it, and you’ll get there.

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  5. Oh Ann – how I can so relate! This is something I really, really have to work at. I wish it didn’t matter to me what other people thought. I really feel like it is a character flaw of mine, and I am trying to work on it. I can “blame” it on a number of things or simply chalk it up to being “my personality,” but I want that confidence that believes in myself without worrying what other people think. Not sure what the secret is.

    I sent my book to two agents and got rejection letters – TWO – and it hurt – LOL!

    Thank you for your beautiful post and helping those of us like this to know it is not only us and giving us some “answers” to what might be the real reasons for some people’s actions that make us doubt ourselves.

    Oh I could go on and on. But thank you! Thank you for always writing from your heart about such relevant topics. Thank you for your support and encouragement. Thank you for your inspiration! Thank you for being YOU! You are awesome just the way you are!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Seriously, Jodi, YOU give ME more encouragement than almost anyone else I know! And I think that’s what life’s all about, really….helping each other find our way forward and learning to be our best, most genuine, self.
      Like you, I have always cared too much about what others think, and it probably is a combination of the way I was raised and just the way I was born. But where it comes from doesn’t really matter, what matters is learning to shed that habit. And I’m happy to say I’m much better at it than I used to be, but not at all there yet. I’m still working on it!
      As for the rejections, just file them away and keep trying. Multiple rejections is part of marketing a book, and believe me, the children’s book market gets tougher to crack by the year. But look at the upside: you already found a way to publish it, people are buying it and reading it, and people are taking the time to let you know how much they are enjoying it! Trust me, that is SUCCESS, anyway you look at it!!! Be proud, my friend!

      Liked by 3 people

  6. There is a saying that goes something like, “Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business”. Obviously meaning we don’t need to know or care what someone else thinks of us. Easier said than done, but I do love the quote! Sounds like you have found many a way to seek the positives. That said, yes, I would have been a bit hurt too by the people who left the table. Great post.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I like that saying! And just think about how much easier it would be if people tended to keep their negative opinions to themselves. I don’t always like everyone I meet either, but I am polite enough not to show it! And when I’m on the receiving end of rejection, I just try very hard to remember that it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with me, and might not even be about me at all. We tend to forget that other people aren’t nearly as focused on us as we are, I think.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Every once in a while a blog post hits home at exactly and precisely the perfect moment. As yours did for me tonight! Thank you, thank you, for your positive attitude, your strength and your lovely way of expressing yourself! I think you just became my therapist!

    Liked by 5 people

    • And thank YOU for letting me know that my post spoke to you with a message you needed to hear! That’s one of the best parts about blogging, I think, realizing that we’re not the only ones who feel a certain way, and also getting support and tips on how to cope with the tough stuff. Just keep believing in yourself!!!!

      Liked by 3 people

  8. A great reminder, Ann, that we have choices in how we respond to others’ opinions or rejections of us. Age does bring some perspective and a stronger capacity to recognize that other people’s opinions are only that and needn’t impact our own self-worth. If only I had seen that more clearly in my 30’s (OK, maybe my 40’s, too!).

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh, I know what you mean! I wish there was a way I could have had this perspective when I was young and so unsure of myself. But I guess that is life. Age takes away so many things, but it gives us gifts as well, and wisdom and perspective are two of the best. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You are one of the strongest (and funniest) people I know! We are all probably too sensitive. I know I am, but everyone wants to feel accepted and welcomed. And as for professional rejection, I applied for countless teaching jobs and then (thanks to you!) found an amazing job and a calling which I have enjoyed for 25 years! Great to see you recently, thank you so much for hosting our whole crew. Also, I woud never leave your table because it is always the most fun table in the room!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Aw, thanks, Louise! I have always been so glad that you got into teaching science, as it seems to be that is something that you were born to do. (Not that you aren’t great at lots of other things, because you are!) But all I know is that each and every one of your students was very lucky to have you!
      Thanks, as always, for all your support and your friendship over the years….you have no idea how much it has meant to me, or how happy I am that we are now getting together regularly again. It was wonderful to see you parents and the “boys” (terrific young men, but I’ll always think of them as boys) again! So glad you guys could stop by…and we will be up your way as soon as we can!

      Like

  10. Great article, prompting a lot of thought.

    Rejection implies personalization. I try to remember that “choosing ME” is no different than my picking through clothing at a store. Some things I like because they suit my taste – others I wouldn’t wear if you gave them to me. But each designer has his or her loyal fans – sometimes me, sometimes not. It’s a taste thing, and also depends on what I’m looking to buy.

    I DO get disappointed when I’m not “chosen” (sometimes extremely so) – but I no longer take it as a valuation of my “worth” or the worthiness of what I have to offer. It was a tough lesson learned in the trenches back in my sho-biz days when they could only pick ONE person out of a roomful or several of talent. Even getting the audition was a competition.

    It was especially tough to ignore the comments when the casting directors tried to justify their choices by telling the others what was “wrong” with them. Sure, some actors had underdeveloped acting or audition skills (similar to applicants with underdeveloped interview skills or resumes that are a poor fit), but almost any of us auditioning in NYC could have easily done most of the roles we were remotely right for, and many of us would probably have done a better job than the person who got it.

    We all had to learn to pick ourselves up, keep going to classes and workshops, listen ONLY to opinions we respected (remembering that it was STILL only an opinion), focus on doing the very best we could with the roles we landed, and keep on keeping on if we ever expected to work. NO good ever comes from picking ourselves apart.

    As for people who seem not to care for me – I don’t like everybody in the world, so I can’t be surprised when not everybody likes me. I’ve also changed my mind about a few folks who hit me the wrong way at first meeting – one in particular became one of my very best long-time friends once I got to know her better. So when I feel “rejected” I try to hold on to the thought that they WOULD like me if they got to know me better, but I’m truly DONE auditioning for people at this point in my life. Thank goodness!
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Madelyn, I was just about to comment on Ann’s post when I read yours. “NO good ever comes from picking ourselves apart.” I have spent well over a year doing that as a way of self-therapy. Many times it has worked, but at other times I merely fall into a mire of self-doubt. My blogs take me time to compose and to think about. Normally they scrape at the very cellar of my soul; and yet nobody bothers to read them. Decent people tell me that they have not got the time.

      That’s rejection. Why bother?

      I bother to write because I want to write and want to make something of it.

      Thank you both.

      Mike

      Liked by 2 people

      • In my opinion, the best writing only comes because the writer has something s/he simply must say, whether anybody reads it or not. But I do know how disheartening it is to feel like you are sending messages in bottles, never knowing if anybody ever finds them.

        I can’t promise to read often, I barely get around to read and comment on most of the blogs I read “regularly” more than a couple of times a month each (and less for some), but I WILL take time to come over and say hello

        Liked by 2 people

      • Exactly, Mike! You bother because it matters to you, and that’s reason enough to write. If others read our words and get something out of them, that’s a gift that we appreciate. But we can’t always count on that, because some people never even see our work, and others see it but choose not to read it, either from time constraints or personal taste. I have several friends who don’t read my blog, and told me upfront they weren’t going to read it because they were too busy. It stung a little at first, but then I realized that my blog was my project and I really had no right to expect them to spend time with it. So I just kept writing it anyway, and now most of my friends and even more strangers (at least at first) read it. Perseverance really is the key!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Part 2 for Mike2all – WordPress sent Part-1 without asking me if I wanted them to – lol. (read the other half first)
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~
      … IF you link your Gravitar profile to your blog so I can find it. Even if I knew what to search for, I truly don’t have time to hunt for folks who don’t make it easy to find them. That also could be part of the reason why “nobody reads” what you write. I found your profile quite interesting and well-written, but with no link to your site I hit a dead end.

      I don’t know how long you’ve been blogging (from your gravitar profile it looks like it’s been only a year), but comments and likes my first 3 years were dismally low – and many of my earlier articles were head and shoulders more informative than the shorter ones I write now (still longer than many published by others).

      If I had not been committed to the value of providing brain-based self-help for folks who couldn’t afford professional coaching fees, I would have quit several times over – and almost did. Slowly, bit by bit, more folks found their way over to me, and a great many stayed and began to interact. Now I spend several hours in back and forth commenting every single day, and only have time to post twice a week.

      It takes time to develop a community, but if you continue to write, they will come – as long as you make it easy to find you. Sending all my best wishes your way. (Congrats on writing your way out of the dark maze of anxiety, btw.)
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 2 people

        • Thanks. My heart goes out to bloggers who feel like nobody is reading what they write. I was up very late (sleep disorder), so I reached out to him.

          I’m not sure what they are teaching at the WordPress blogging class, or how many new bloggers take advantage of it, but it does seem to me as if, more and more, metrics are overstressed and building community undervalued, which makes for an unhappy blogging experience, IMHO.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

    • I really like what you said Madelyn! Not only the comparison to trying out for acting roles (which is even harder than trying to be a commercially successful writer), but how you stress that someone else’s opinion of us is something we can choose to reject or accept. And the reminder that just as we might change our mind about someone once we get to know them, it’s entirely possible that when someone rejects us the only problem is that the don’t truly know us. But ultimately, even they get exactly who we are and still don’t care for us, that doesn’t lesson our value one tiny little bit. Thanks, Madelyn!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Ann. Like I said, your article really made me think about my own development through the years. I wish I could have had that awareness MUCH earlier in my life. My childhood would have been quite a bit different.

        Since my family moved practically every year, I was always “the new girl” trying to fit in. As an outgoing child I managed to be fairly popular, but I had a tough time developing a true sense of of Self. I can’t say I really got there until I was almost 40.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Ann, thank you so much for this blog.

    It arrived just as my self-belief was packing to leave. My blogging has helped me to come through bad times. I have improved my writing craftsmanship and can capture central theme in life. Yet, there are times when the lack of views tells me that it is of no value; yesterday was one such day.

    Today, I am back at it again.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Love your blog!
    Maybe it is the time in our lives (50+ or ++) that makes us reflect in such a collective way to all things that affect us.
    Rejection, busy lives, kids not doing what we think they should be doing and just the normal build up of sticky stuff.
    I had to laugh at the table thing as I have had the exact same thing happen! Really! I thought I was the only one.
    Thanks for continuing to write.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I think it is this time in our life that makes us reflect, as sometimes things seem to be changing so fast that we can barely keep up, and we look back to see just how we got her. (And wonder which is the best path forward.) And that’s so weird the same thing happened to you! I didn’t even know any of those people, there was just a place at the table and I thought I would sit there. They may well have had a good reason to move, but if the situation was reversed, I never would have done that to someone else. If I had taken a seat they were hoping would be saved for someone else, the smart thing to do would be to simply pull up another chair. At church, there’s always supposed to be room for one more, or at least that’s the way I look at it!

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  13. Ann, you are being incredibly gracious to excuse your ‘dining’ companions rudeness. I think their reaction says far more about them than you. Keep up with your wonderful writing. I am only new here but already I look forward to your insights on the human condition.

    As for publishers’ opinions, there are many wonderful books published but just as many truly awful ones. So often what counts is commercial interest (established authors, famous personalities, and mass market demand) rather than the quality of the story or the writing itself.

    Nevertheless, it is hard to shake the feeling that the rejection must be about you. As a former civil servant, I used to write for a living. It was a terribly demoralising process as the piece went through endless re-drafts until it had absolutely no meaning at all. I found solace in my art, which I did entirely for me and if anybody else liked it, then that was a bonus.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I understand exactly what you mean! Your art is my blog…after all those years of writing for someone else (and like you say, often having it changed so much I hardly recognized my original manuscript), I wanted the freedom to just write what I wanted without having to meet anyone else’s expectations. Blogging isn’t entirely judgement free, as we worry about how many views, comments and likes a post gets, but for me there’s a real satisfaction in finishing a post that says exactly what I want it to say. And that makes me think much less about the reaction others may, or may not, have to it.
      As for the people at the table, I didn’t know them so I’m trying to give them the benefit of the doubt. But I do know I would never do that to a person who approached my table and sat down, even if I was trying to save that seat from someone else. (The table was round so they could easily have pulled up another chair.) That was a very large church and the people there tended to form their own little groups and weren’t always willing to engage with folks they didn’t know. Which was the main reason I left it after a while…..

      Liked by 2 people

  14. I’ll join the chorus to acknowledge that I, too, am well acquainted by the sting of perceived or real rejection. So much so, I felt the punch in the gut feeling as you described the church dinner.

    I agree – it’s about external acknowledgement. It’s about getting approval and knowing that you are important enough to merit the other’s attention. It’s about expectations, too. I expect that when I have a conversation with someone, for example, they will bring the same level of attention to the moment. If not, then I feel slighted. I take it personally.

    Just recently, I have been aware of other situations where I feel personally slighted – or at least, similar feelings of loss and disappointment – my cat has been hiding under the couch lately. If I come into the room, he looks at me in alarm and bolts. That kills me!

    Buddha had it right – all pain comes from attachment, expectations of certain outcomes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it is hard to keep rejection from hurting us deeply, and even when we are careful not to take it too personally, there is always a sting. The most we can do is remind ourselves that we are just fine the way we are and move on. And remember that what we perceive as rejection may simply be someone else not noticing what we need/expect from them. I was once staring across a room, trying to read a sign on the wall, when I realized that the person sitting directly below it thought I was looking at them and was giving a tentative smile. Which I did not return in time, because I didn’t see it. I know that person felt rejected, and honestly, I didn’t mean it at all! As for your cat, I can only offer my sympathy.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Ann:
    I love this post. I was just writing a blog post about how I hate rejection and think it gets tougher with age. Writers are in the unique position of having others judge and critique their work all the time. It takes a certain amount of courage and thick skin to deal with it. As sensitive as you think you are to rejection, realize that you have courage to put your work out for public scrutiny. And if you want to feel better about publishers and manuscripts, read my next blog piece, “Survey Says” which I’m posting later today.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks! I will. And yes, the worst part of writing (or making any kind of art) is the judgement of others is part of the package. And we have to learn to ignore it, more often than not! One of the nice things about blogging is that those who don’t like our posts simply don’t read them. The people who do read and take the time to comment generally say positive things. Which beats the heck out of a rejection letter, LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I’ve been a writer all my life and I’m shocked at how a rejection still deflates me. In fact, that’s the biggest reason I started writing my blog. My blog is the one place an editor can’t step in and criticize or change my words. It’s so freeing to put my own voice online–for better or for worse. I’ve also recently started to remind myself not everything I write is for everyone. If not all people relate to what I’m writing about, I can still love my work. There’s room for both in the world. I guess? LOL

    Liked by 2 people

    • Me, too! I started my blog so there wasn’t any editor telling me what I could and couldn’t say, and how I could say it. And taking the editor (or client) out of the equation did help me develop my own writing voice, which was something I had been missing for years.
      But as you say, even with blogging we tend to start writing for our audience if we aren’t careful. You have a wonderful imagination and write very well on subjects I would never even think of, so please keep on writing what you love. None of us writes for everyone, but believe me, there are those of us who enjoy your blog!

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  17. I think so many of us can relate to this post Ann. Rejection is painful, we question our worth, whether is be through our work or our personal lives. Yes we develop a thick skin but the sting pains none the less. Thank you for sharing this insightful post Ann!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Lynn! I would love for all of us to get to the point where rejection doesn’t sting, but I don’t think that’s possible. I think all we can do is not react to the pain, or let it make us doubt our self worth. We just have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and head on down the path!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. True, true, true, true, true! It does get easier with age though, I can shrug off what would have devastated me at 20. I am who I am and if other people reject me – well, there are plenty who don’t.

    Like everyone else I’m appalled at your dining companions.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, it does help to remember that there are always people who like us just the way we are. And that we like ourselves, too. I have gotten better at handling rejection as I’ve aged, and that’s a good thing.
      As for the people at the table, all I can say is that I would never treat someone that way. I’m sure it wasn’t intended to hurt by feelings, but that’s the reason it’s sometimes good to take the time to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes before we act.

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  19. This reminds me of something I heard Dr. Phil say, which I found online. I try to remember it when I get too obsessed about other people’s opinion of me.

    My dad used to say, “You wouldn’t worry so much about what people thought of you, if you knew how seldom they did.”

    Liked by 5 people

  20. Good article, Ann, and I appreciate a lot of the comments as well.
    My bewildered inner child so resonated with your pain at the church supper. Huh? Sometimes I just don’t get it.
    My adult has come to realize that at some level, people’s actions make sense to them, and while they may impact me, they rarely are actually about me. And if they are about me, its more likely to be about How (extrinsic factors, behaviors) I am, rather than Who(my central self) I am. Easy to get the two mixed up, and of course, there are plenty who will confuse a how with a who.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I like the way you differentiated between your inner child and your adult self! And I agree that when we think as adults, it’s much easier to remember that other people’s actions toward us are rarely actually about us. And that even when they are, it is about how they perceive us rather than about how who we really are. Thanks for the insightful comment!

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  21. Such a genuine post 🙂 I think that rejections bothers me too, you are not alone on that. The thing is that no one really teach you/me how to deal with rejection or failure and this is integral part of life if you want to succeed. Then with time you can even stop trying to avoid rejection/failure. So I agree that you need to know your own value and self worth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, it would be a good thing if we talked a bit more openly about rejection and how to handle it. Too often we just try to shield our kids from rejection, but that’s not even possible. And once we learn to cope with it, we stop being so afraid of it. Thanks for making the comment, Svet!

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  22. We tend to be our own worst critics and then when others add their voice it just confirms the negativity. I worked for many years for a person who had nothing but criticism for me. I learned to pat myself on the back and use positive self-talk – or else I’d have sunk into a depression and been swallowed whole. I understand the feelings you expressed and applaud your tenacity and perseverance. Sometimes it takes a span of years to make the realization that self worth comes from within and not from a place outside of self…

    Liked by 4 people

    • Good for you for giving yourself positive self-talk to counteract your boss’s criticism! And I agree that it takes us a long time to learn to tune out the negative things others sometimes say and to realize that our sense of self-worth is on our shoulders and not anyone else’s. Thanks for the comment!

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  23. I think we enter certain things in our lives, like writing submissions, where we understand rejection is part of the package. It still hurts but I think we can somehow rationalize it in our minds. It’s the personal rejections that you mention that I believe sting the most. It makes us question our self worth, though it shouldn’t. I think age is a great teacher. It reinforces our beliefs in who we are, it strips away the need to please others for the sake of pleasing and it allows us the ability to be happier. If only we understood this when we were younger.
    I only know you through your words here, Ann but Even with that small sampling I believe who you are is greater than the hurt others may have inflicted. You’re a much better person.
    Great post!

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    • Thanks, George! And you are so right, it is the personal rejections that sting the worst, although what we feel personally tends to be relative. It took me a long time to learn not to take it personally when my writing was rejected, and even longer to learn to shrug it off when it felt as I my very self was being rejected. It helped to remember that often what I interpreted as rejection may not have been meant as rejection at all, and even if it was, to just realize that not everyone has to like me in order for me to be a good person.
      And I really appreciate your affirmation. The blogging world is a funny thing: we only know each other through our written words, and yet in some ways we know each other well. And I know enough to realize that I am very lucky to have you and several others as blogging friends, because you are a terrific bunch of people who I am blessed to call friends, even if just through the blog sphere!

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  24. I will remember all of this. I just finished my mom’s memoir and it’s gone through the first edit. This is writing world is something that is foreign to me. I’m a nurse, not a writer but hopefully someone will connect with this unforgiving disease of memory loss. And wonderful my mother was. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

      • It was, though rereading it this week was hard. Since I’m a nurse, The Alzheimer’s Association asked if I would blog about our journey from a nurse/daughter point of view, hence the start of The Lemon Bar Queen. I wrote mainly about when she was in memory care but writing her memoir includes the start of her loss.
        If you need any help with your dad, let me know. It’s incredibly hard to watch the ones you love diminish, either in reading, driving, cooking, communication. List goes on. If there’s a topic you’re struggling with, don’t hesitate. ❤️ Jodi

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jodi THANK YOU SO MUCH! Than is so kind of you and so much appreciated! I think I am in denial as when I am with him he seems very good but my mum notices and tells me of a lot more changes that I haven’t yet witnessed. I will look out for your book. I hope you will take time out for self-care now. X Marie

          Liked by 1 person

  25. This piece is so inspiring! I under how rejection can bog one down everytime but I believe it’s important to remember that only you are responsible for your own happiness and therefore don’t pay too much heed on what others think
    ☺️ Good Day, Charu

    Liked by 2 people

    • The older I get, the more I realize that what I used to take as slights or rejections are very often not at all personal. And even when they are, I don’t need to accept another person’s judgement as truth. It’s hard, but it is a struggle well worth it!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Hi Ann, this post really touched me on so many levels and although I’m quite late to the party and everything worth saying seems to have been said by all my fellow bloggers here, I just wanted to add how much I get your former disappointment in having studied English and having enormous trouble getting a job that fits it the way you imagined. As it is I’m going through the same thing, having studied art history and looking for a job somehow at least related to art and culture but seeming to get nowhere. The only jobs I’m offered are way below my qualifications and I find myself slowly giving in to it… Rejection truly is a pain in the a..! (Please pardon my French 😉)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I think rejection in the working place is often the hardest to deal with, because we depend on our jobs for our livelihood! And anything creative…art, writing, music….is very limited in its ability to provide a job that pays a living wage. So we either do what we love for far less money than it’s worth, or turn our back on our creative side and take a job that pays better but has nothing to do with what we love. Sometimes I envy my son, who loves technology and was lucky enough to get a job in his field that both challenges him and pays well. But it’s just luck of the draw as to whether what we love to do can support us..
      Best of luck in your search, and I really hope you are one of the lucky ones who snags that dream job! You deserve it!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I´m so glad your son can actually earn a living with what he loves! It´s such a rare thing and gives the rest of us hope, I think.
        And thank you for your good wishes, Ann 😀 Life is all about making compromises I often think, and the decisions regarding taking on a certain job or other, are just a part of it.
        Have a lovely Sunday and a wonderful new week ahead of you! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • That is so difficult and I can empathise as I’m teaching 9 years now on temporary contracts with no sign of security or permancy in sight but although far from perfect it has opened up other avenues and wonderful (non-monetary) unexpected experiences along the way…

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think there is always a tension in any artist between the desire to create exactly what is most meaningful to us, or to create what will speak to others. I guess the trick is to find a happy balance between the two!

      Like

  27. I can so relate to this post, both in terms of my writing and in a social sense. So many rejections in the early years of writing and in various scenarios.We’ve all been there haven’t we? Someone sent me a message the other day that really struck a chord. They said “it’s not about being discovered, it’s about discovering ourselves”. I think that’s what really matters. Great post Ann.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love that message! As writers (and any kind of creative artist), we do wait to be discovered as if that is what validates us. When really, creativity is about discovering ourselves. I just wish I had figured that out sooner! Thanks, Miriam, and I hope you are still enjoying a wonderful camping trip!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m only discovering that fairly recently myself Ann, but better late than never! Home now, back to domestics and settling into the routine of a new week. But all good, can’t complain. 🙂 xo

        Liked by 1 person

  28. It’s wonderful how you could mentally turn around that type of incident (the church one would have really gotten to me) and realize that you don’t know the why of their actions and that their opinions may not have anything to do with you.
    I try to exercise that thought process instead of road rage, ha. When someone is driving like a maniac, passing everyone and weaving in and out of traffic, my first thought is that I hope there is a cop ahead. Then I think, may his wife/girlfriend is in the car in labor and he is rushing to the hospital. I just realized that I never thing it’s a woman driving when I don’t see who the driver is. Reverse sexism?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, if it is, I’m guilty of that one too! Whenever I see someone driving that way, I also tend to think it’s a man. And you’re right, that really is a form of sexism. I’ll have to work on that one!
      And believe me, at the time it happened, that church one hurt. It wasn’t until afterwards that I could believe it probably wasn’t personal. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  29. I think it is incredibly difficult to stop looking to others for the validation of our work, and of ourselves. It’s a process, I think, and one that involves some backsliding now and then. But I intend to keep trying!

    Like

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