Chances are if you put yourself “out there” in the world, you most likely have gotten one of those letters that begin… Thank you for …, unfortunately…. 

Fall Out, 2011
Acrylic, graphite, collage on paper
There it is, the bomb. Your heart sinks, you may try to brush it off, say it was a long shot, I didn’t really want it, whatever. One such letter arrived in my mail box earlier this week. I applied for an award. I worked hard on it. Gave it my best shot. But I didn’t make the cut for the next level. 
But I do know that whether you are entering shows, applying for a grant, going on auditions, applying for college, jobs, etc. – disappointment comes with the territory.  Frequently. (unless you are my niece Katie who got into every school- undergrad and grad to which she applied. You go girl!) And let’s face it, -While it’s not nearly as fun (or rewarding) as the other letter that begins- “Congratulations, or We are pleased/excited to inform you…” Showing up, putting yourself out there, takes courage, energy, and time.
So, while disappointed, I am really ok with it. (Well heck, what is the alternative?!) The truth, however, is that working on the application was an incredibly empowering experience. I dug deep, discovered some intrinsic truths about what I do and why I do it. Better than therapy, didn’t cost me a thing… and as Arnold once said…”I’ll be back…!”
What is your experience with the “Unfortunately…” letter?  How do you bounce back?

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