I lie still.
Waking up to rejection is the worst.
Maybe this was how it was to not get a rose on the Bachelor. No, THIS was way worse than that show. HR didn’t see a future with me… and it punched another hole in my brain and heart so it could just fill with more inadequacy. How was I supposed to love myself more and thus, be more loving towards others if I couldn’t make life just a dash more exciting and earn a single penny? I wanted to pay for more dinners with loved ones. Buy more gifts. Save for trips and treat myself with newer experiences. I wanted nothing more than to feel like I was giving back by being competent.
Just a few weeks ago, I had applied to a digital music advertising startup. Reading about its repertoire of campaign work for names like Spotify, Redbull, Netflix, and numerous other brands easily had me hooked for preparation. And soon I was very drunk on the idea of it. Even when I came in and out of two rounds of interviews, I felt an unusual sense of pride that all of my qualifications were a perfect fit. I was getting every verbal nod of approval to believe the opportunity was mine.
Earlier today, the latest rejection email told me otherwise. I needed to scramble for reassurance; Google was the closest source for it. So I began reading up on others’ experiences to silence the “ifs” and “whys.” It soothed me in the process, because I found stories of famous rejects and their small beginnings. For example, Madonna was rejected from being signed at Millenium Records by the president, Jimmy Ienner, whom personally felt that she wasn’t “ready” as an artist. After that incident, she signed with Sire Records in 1982 and put her first album out which then sold more than 10 million copies. But before all of this occurred, Madonna had come to New York with only $35 and worked at Dunkin Donuts to get by. It was interesting to see that she was “born” from having very little.
So, rejection wasn’t awful. Maybe rejection was telling me to become a self-starter, that having an unconventional career path could end up promising, and that I had a lot of opportunities to just get better at everything. Maybe a failure was doing me more of a favor. And I would thank it later, in the future when I was talking about my own success story in an interview.
Anyway, it wasn’t like I’ve never dealt with rejection before. It always came up in tasks, relationships, friendships, and school. Sometimes, it comes to me as a surprise though. But the best way of coping for me was to always find solace in knowing others felt it too. It was comforting to read or listen to a stranger mirror the stages of hopelessness and hopefulness back. So if anyone feels this jilted, I recommend looking into music that will make you want to start over. Especially these songs.
Let them lift you.
True Love Will Find You in The End– Daniel Johnston
For rejection in love.
Hoppipolla– Sigur Ros
The song title translates to “Hopping into puddles.” The lyrics show that kids never mind their nosebleeds from falling; they choose to enjoy a very simple act instead.
Try, Try, Try– The Smashing Pumpkins
We all try to hold onto something close to our heart.
I Need a Forest Fire– James Blake
When a forest burns down uncontrollably, it leaves behind fertile soil for a brand new start. A lesson derived from nature: destruction can lead to creation.
I Can Change– LCD Soundsystem
“Never change, never change, never change, never change
Never change, never change, never change” …..for anyone
“I can change, I can change, I can change, I can change
I can change, I can change, I can change” ….. for myself
The Rest is Noise– Jamie xx
Ever heard of that expression, “The rest is just background noise”? This song feels like a reminder to tune out all of the negativity and trivialities of life. It’s better to focus on one important thing at a time.
Balance– Future Islands
“And you can go to the moon
But if you want something to change
You gotta change your life
And take your time
It just takes time
It just takes time
It just takes time
Hard work and your time”
You Got the Love– Florence and the Machine
When times get hard, we feel like giving up. But there’s always someone or something out there, reminding us that we can still feel love and have a purpose.
Going Gets Tough– Growlers
“Still always remembering
When the going gets tuff
That the labor of our love
Will reward us soon enough”
You Give What You Give– New Radicals
The Dreamer’s disease is contagious and can reach all of us. When the dreams feel like they’re dying and killing us inside, we must remember to never give up.
Turn! Turn! Turn!– The Byrds
“To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep”
Dreamers– Savoir Adore
A conversation between a dreamer struggling with a destructive and worrisome reality, and an outside voice reassuring him or her to let go and let things be.