You’re going to have more rejection than acceptance

[Barry Mann]

So I suppose it’s time for me to publicly admit that I did not make it to the top three for the TXU student film competition. It was a surprise and a knowing realization all at once. I had expectations, that’s for sure. I felt like I had something unique and special out of almost all of the other films. I believed Thoughts on Fire was different to the point that it would stand out in the good – now I can imagine the judges giving each other strange looks and trashing my video first.

It wasn’t what they were looking for.

I want to know why. I want to write a letter, an email, send a text, anything that will make them tell me exactly why I didn’t get placed. Or maybe I was placed? Maybe I was third? Did I just barely miss getting to walk the red carpet at DIFF by one judge? I just want to know what was the difference that let the other videos win while mine didn’t. I want to improve. 

While this rejection hangs on my wall behind my bedroom door, I pass by it everyday and remember: I did in fact make it to the top ten. I was a finalist. I made it through five phases where I’m sure people were wondering the exact same things as I am. 

It’s a start. 

For now, I will savor the taste of rejection. I’m not going to be arrogant and say there won’t be many to follow. I’m aiming for a place past the stars. It’s not an easy path but with each rejection I have the fuel, the drive, to get the next one, and the one after that. 

If you’re getting rejected, it means you’re doing something. 

This rejection still got me in my school newspaper –

I entered another competition last night as well –

I’m still moving forward. 

“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!” So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.”

― J.R.R. TolkienThe Hobbit


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