The last couple weeks, I’ve been following a “feed” on the socials. There was a call for entry for an upcoming exhibit; 400 art quilters submitted their work and due to space limitations, only 40 were selected for the exhibit. In this group discussion, people who submitted work shared photos of their submissions and noted whether it was “accepted” or “rejected” into the exhibit.
Entering a call for entry is not really like playing the lottery. In a lottery, your number is selected based on statistical chance. In a call for entry, some person(s) is/are saying “I think this one fits the exhibit better than this one.” So realistically, there is a level of rejection in the selection process versus what happens in a lottery. It is reasonable to have a bit of emotional sting when you’re told “we decided not to choose you (your art).”
On the other hand, they are kind of the same. With either option, you’re taking a chance to get something. Applying for a job is a similar chance opportunity. I would bet that most people, at some point in their life, have applied for a job. Maybe you got the job, or maybe you didn’t. I wonder though, if you didn’t get the job would you say you were rejected? It may feel like a rejection, because obviously there was something about your application that ranked you not as qualified as the person who did receive it. Its all a lottery and you are playing the game because you hope you’ll win. Yet, not everyone will.
This conversation struck me, because this week I received one of those “we didn’t pick you” notices. I applied for something a few months ago and reading the email stung. All that time I spent putting the packet together, wasted. Or was it? I had to stop and evaluate what I was feeling. Did I really think I was the best? No, because I didn’t know who I was competing against.
After a few days contemplating, I’ve come to realize that all of life is a chance. We receive opportunities along the journey. Sometimes we grab the brass ring and sometimes we don’t. Just because one opportunity didn’t work, doesn’t mean it will always turn out the same. Lesson learned is don’t ever believe it is a rejection of you and don’t ever give up.