I did not win the new musicals contest.
I knew it was a long shot. Any contest where there's only one winner is. In fact, any contest with submission criteria as broad as 'new' is basically a pot shot in the dark. But, I had hoped that this would be my time to shine.
And the dumb part is, I was kind of banking on this opportunity. It seemed like an answer. A ready-made solution to trying to get my work into the zeitgeist. Now that I know it's not available, I'm disappointed. I was really disappointed on the day I found out. I'm not going to sugarcoat it. It was a disappointing blow. Even though I knew it was a long shot.
There's a saying, I think it's attributed to Wayne Gretzky, that says "you miss 100 per cent of the shots you don't take." This is very true. But, you often miss the shots you do take, too. My boyfriend watches hockey. There's a goalie specifically placed in the net, intent on stopping the shots that you take. Now, I'm not saying in life there's a specific goalie intent on blocking my growth. But sometimes it can feel like that.
Why am I telling you this?
It's not to wallow.
My pity party's actually over. I moped for at least an hour on the day of the announcement. I held back the sting of tears. I texted frowny-faces to all the people who knew about my musical foray, and told them it wasn't going to happen. Some commiserated. Some recognized my disappointment. Some brushed it off, just a tiny bit more news in their day. I let myself feel bad. I worried I was a talentless hack. I feared I might never amount to anything in this crazy world... and then a wise friend told me "the contest wasn't so you could perform the play, it was so you could write it." And suddenly, I felt a lot better. I'm one of those 'everything happens for a reason' mumbo-jumbo believers, so this little tidbit was music to my ears.
This perspective opened something in me and helped me move past my rejection and re-calibrate.
So, back to my question, why am I telling you this?
Well, I'm hoping this - my attempt, my rejection, my rebound... might help you too.
In life, what we see most are the people who heard 'yes'. The ones that had their writing published, their music produced, their fashion worn, their donuts eaten. We hear success stories and see beautifully curated images of happy, fulfilled people who landed big breaks and are certain they achieved them through hard work alone.
But, there's a lot of 'no's too.
I'm living in the land of the no.
If you are too, no biggie. It's time to take another shot. It's not easy. I'm not saying it is. Tear ducts will bulge. Disappointments will come. But, I'm still shooting.
You should too.