I know this is going to make me sound as young as I am and naive (something I am loathe to sound like), but getting rejected from my dream college devastated me. It was prestigious – as passionate about acting and theatre as I am, well-funded, and only 2 hours away from a school my girlfriend was crazy about.
Rejection is never easy to handle especially from a college, which has been held up as the penultimate litmus test of my intelligence and ability. I’ve put so much effort and hope into getting into this school and it has just been denied to me. I feel like I’ve been told that I’m not good enough. Truthfully, I’m really sad and it hurts.
This isn’t going to talk about how I’ve learned that this rejection isn’t the end of my world, or the final word on my talent or worth (that’s happened too, but it’s not as important). Instead, this rejection has been making me think. It’s forced me to reflect on all the times I’ve been sad, whether it was because of rejection, mistreatment, or loss. I’ve dealt with sadness before and I’ve come to some realizations…
There’s this instinctual and real tendency to avoid sadness at any expense. This is completely understandable. There have even been whole stretches of my life where I believed the reason I was put on this earth was to avoid sadness.
This just isn’t a good way to live for a few reasons. Importantly it’s futile, sadness is going to exist in life, it’s inevitable. This isn’t defeatist or pessimistic, it’s realistic. Even more importantly, at least as I see it, our hearts break because we love. All kinds of sadness are indicative of having cared very greatly about something. Loss and rejection are both painful but the joy of having something worth being sad about losing makes life worthwhile.
Sadness has a way of encasing us – making us so completely blind to everything else that it can seem like we’ve never, nor will we ever feel anything but sadness. So it’s easy to forget what we’ve gained from being put in a position where rejection or loss makes us feel sadness.
Giving yourself completely to something puts you in a position where sadness might come, but that sadness wont and cant detract from all the joy and beauty brought by that passion and dedication.
The reason this rejection hurt so terribly is because I had passion. I had passion and drive. I gave something my time and energy. I strove for greatness. I strove and fought, and that is something beautiful.
I have gained so much from this passion and devotion that this sadness, though painful, can never negate. Though it eventually lead to this sadness… I have trained, I have earned, I have discovered a vein of artistic life and soul I would have never had access to otherwise, all because I cared. I hurt because I cared.
And that’s helping me get through the pain and sadness. Sadness is a symptom of having cared and loved. And a life with those things is a life worth living.
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