Shortly after my son was born my parents decided to use the excuse of our new addition to rid themselves of some of the clutter around their house. We came back from one visit with a crate full of children’s encyclopedias which sat in my son’s closet for the next several years. I found myself just as unable to throw them out as my parents even though they were definitely out of date. They had been my encyclopedias after all, from a time before the internet. It just goes against my nature to throw out books.
Then my nephew turned four. He had a dinosaur themed birthday party and all guests including my son were given dinosaur hunter themed goodie bags. My son came home eager to learn more about them. As a child I had wanted to be a paleontologist when I grew up, so I latched on to his enthusiasm. He asked if we had any books on dinosaurs. I remembered the crate and a short time later we were dusting off its contents.
As we were going through the collection, we discovered a book wedged between the encyclopedias titled, How to make a cloud. My son was intrigued. He asked us to read it to him. The book turned out to be all about weather and types of clouds. I thought my son would be bored after the first chapter, but he insisted we finish the book.
I have to admit I learned something, or at least I re-learned something I’d forgotten. For example, I learned that clouds don’t just form because rising vapor cools in the atmosphere. That vapor must first come in contact with dust, dirt, or other imperfections in the air.
I recently received a rejection letter. My work was either deemed not a good fit for their present direction, or they believed they had access to a better option. I don’t have huge amounts of spare time to engage in idle inquires. I wouldn’t have sent my inquiry if I didn’t think I offered what they were looking for. But for whatever reason they had seen a flaw and moved on, and my self-esteem took a hit.
If there were no imperfections churning and blowing throughout our atmosphere there would be nothing to catch the rising steam. Nothing to condense it and transform it back into the liquid water so necessary for life to continue. Nothing could grow and nothing could survive.
Rejection hurts. There is no disputing that. But it also serves as a vital component in our growth. I may take a day or two to lick my wounds and soothe my pride, but I can’t dwell on the rejection itself. I also live with my little lord tyrant, my two-year old. Every other word out of his mouth is no. No is an incredibly easy word to say. I hear it everyday. It is his answer to everything whether or not he understands the question. But that doesn’t stop either my husband or I from continuing to try to find a way to sneak vegetables into his meals.
I have to remember that while there is always room for improvement, the reason for my rejection could have nothing at all to do with me. I have to tilt my head back and drink in the rain. I have to focus on how this stumbling block can aid in my personal and professional transformation. I have to keep trying.
I have to remember that I even if I hear a million nos, all it will take is a single yes by the right person.