Last week was a rough one in Jessica Land. I faced a lot of rejection last week, some expected and some unexpected, and it really wore me out.
The expected rejection: I received a pink slip. This is my 5th year teaching and it was my 5th pink slip. I don't have tenure, and they aren't planning on giving it to me any time soon. Last year a teacher with tenure from another school in my district transferred to my school and bumped me out of my job, but a few days later someone at her original school unexpectedly retired, so she decided to stay there and take the retiree's job instead of mine. I wanted to send that retiree flowers, because I was thisclose to joining the ranks of unemployed teachers. This year I don't know if anyone is planning on bumping me, but I know of some situations at work that are making me really nervous for my position. I'm trying so hard to stay positive about having a job next year (I got hired back four times already, right?), but it's hard sometimes. I mean, when can I just KNOW that I'll stay employed for awhile?
The unexpected rejection: I didn't get into the MFA program I applied for. I never took it as a certainty that I would be accepted, but at the same time, it didn't really occur to me that I wouldn't. I tried to prepare for the idea that I might not get in, but that was like preparing for a flood or preparing for the end of the world in 2012. It was a possibility that lived in the back of my mind, but didn't really seem like it would happen.
But it did.
I believe strongly in the Law of Attraction. You get back from the universe what you put out there. I thought nothing but positive thoughts about this. I pictured myself there. I thought happily about all the things I would get out of the program. And I didn't get it.
So that leads me to this thought...it wasn't the right thing at the right time. I don't feel like I'm not qualified for a good MFA program. I don't. I KNOW I AM. So there's just some other reason this didn't happen for me right now. I don't know what that is right now, but I am trusting that I'll figure it out eventually. But now? And this? It wasn't right. It just wasn't. Because if it was right, it would have worked out for me.
There were other small rejections sprinkled throughout the week (I got declined for books on NetGalley!), so by the time Friday came around I was totally exhausted.
But I wasn't defeated. I wallowed for a day after the big MFA rejection. I ate an entire Chipotle burrito and three spoonfuls of Nutella. I cried on my private Twitter. I vented to my writing group in our chat. My fellow temp teachers and I sent a string of irritated e-mails back and forth after pink slip day.
But now I'm over it. The MFA thing just wasn't right for me right now. There's nothing I can do about my job. I even requested the NetGalley books again, just in case. I'm not going to let this make me feel like a bad writer. I'm not going to let this make me feel like a bad teacher. I'm going to keep on teaching and I'm going to keep on writing, and I'm going to get better, even if a school or some suit at my district office doesn't think I'm worthy.
And this week has already turned around! I got a signed ARC of Wildefire in the mail, thanks to Karsten Knight. And I won a query crit from WriteOnCon. So it's only Tuesday and this week is already kicking last week's ass.
Rejection sucks, but it can't be the end of you. I really believe that things will work out the way they are supposed to. If my job doesn't work out (I'm really scared this year, guys), that's because something else is in store for me. This MFA thing didn't work out because something else is going to be right for me instead. I'm just staying positive, putting positive energy out in the universe, and trying to grow stronger from these setbacks.
Things will work out the way they are supposed to. I trust this.
I debated not even posting this on here. An aspiring author's blog is a place to be shiny and happy and to show what a team player and normal person she is, right? But this blog is about my journey, and this is about my journey. It would feel wrong not to include my speed bumps.