While I was working on this graphic recently, I received an email rejection. It happens. Getting an email is better than hearing nothing, which also happens. I'm sending out energy in every direction right now to promote the book. Or, to be blunt, I'm tossing as much a shit as possible at the walls and hoping some sticks. Yup, looking for the sticky shit. Unfortunately, this shit was not sticky.
As a creative, my entire adult professional experience has been about setting myself up to be rejected. As an actress auditioning for shows and then awaiting the reviews, as a TV talent auditioning for on-air spots, as a vocalist fronting bands, as a design expert writing books, articles, and creating DIY designs to inspire creativity, and now, as a writer. I could share all manner of stories about the humiliations and indignities I've endured.
"They", the proverbial they, will say that you cannot be thin skinned and be a performer, writer, artist, or on-camera personality. The truth is, for all of my bravado and braggadocio, I'm a sensitive person. Creatives are supposed to just take rejection with a smile. We're not supposed to admit, out loud, that it hurts to put everything on the line and be casually dismissed. Well, guess what? It hurts to put everything on the line and be casually dismissed and I AM SAYING IT OUT LOUD. So there.
When faced with rejection, I feel all the feelings. I have a good cry and beat myself up and start to think maybe I'm not worthwhile. It may take a day or so for me to dig myself out of the self pity pit. Yet, I grab a shovel and get to work. Rejection doesn't really get easier, but you get better at getting over it.
I can focus on rejection, but that would grind down my resolve. Instead, I am going to focus on the feedback I am getting from women (and men) who have told me how much they love my new book. They love the honesty, the humor, and the painful truth about what we all experience as we grow older. They love the way I'm able to articulate the things they're feeling, and my willingness to talk about the things women mostly keep to ourselves. If the gatekeeper from the company that sent this email can't see the value in that message, that's their loss.
Being a woman over 50 is to know rejection at a cellular level. Making it to your mid-century mark means you have survived. You know what it means to keep fighting the good fight even when you're bruised, broken, and beleaguered. You know what it takes to get up and get moving in the face of the worst that life might toss in your pathway.
That's what my book is about, surviving the rejection from a world that wants me to become invisible. I categorically refuse. There are millions of women over 50 who are struggling with the same rejections. They may be finding it harder to find a job, or facing the end of a partnership, or feathering the empty nest, or swimming through the pause that is meno, or finding the resolve to embrace the loss of their youth. Whatever they're experiencing, their experiences matter.
We're here. We're over 50. Get over it.
We're not going anywhere, in fact, we're just getting started.