how to deal with rejection (of the employment variety)

Before I begin, I would first like to direct y’all’s attention to my genius friend Alina’s blog, which you can find at She says everything that’s in my own brain, only much more wittily. Her latest post, “Nostalgia is a bitch,” is an apt description of what it’s like to keep moving from beautiful place to beautiful place. Go read it. Right now. Then come back.

Okay, welcome back!

So first, the bad news – which you have probably already guessed from this post’s title, because you, reader, are one smart duck. Lately – like, REPEATedly over the past two days – I have been getting just shit tons of emails, phone calls, and even one actual physical letter in the mail (who DOES that these days?) letting me know that although I am just fabulous and well-educated and experienced and clearly INTO this stuff, they have decided to go with another of their three billion perfect job candidates. Places I’d had interviews at; places I’d had second interviews at (like Wisconsin); and places I’d not even warranted an interview – all of them, regretfully telling me no. Needless to say, it’s been a rough two days for my ego.

There is not much else to do besides keep applying, keep applying, keep applying; recruit more editors for my cover letters; arrange meetings with SNRE’s career services office; and keep applying, keep applying, keep applying. In the meantime, I am quickly running out of fundage, even with my occasional subbing work at the preschool, so another immediate goal is finding some kind of (any kind of) employment to pay ze bills. For this, I might be moving out to my delightful brother’s house in Boulder, CO, but more on that as decisions are made.

So if anyone wants to hire me – you know, just let me know. Or you could just give me lots of money; that would also work.

Photo Dec 03, 1 14 59 PM
A walk on Belle Isle with Andrew Berry.

So how to deal with rejection? In my case, I go for lots of walks in the nine-degree weather (reminds one that one remains fiercely alive and human); tell myself how totally awesome I am on a regular basis; ramp up my number of job applications per day (amazing that it can even be done); and, of course, distract myself, with things like climbing at the gym, or bar trivia, or brainstorming Christmas gifts to make, or growing a potato plant in a windowsill, or listening to music in Detroit, or eating a shit ton of caramel corn. (My mom makes homemade caramel corn every December. It is so effing good.) I also gave money to the dude ringing the bell for Salvation Army outside of the grocery store the other day, which made me feel briefly very good about myself, which is basically the point of that sort of charity. (The guy ringing the bell was SUPER creepy looking.)

Anyway, second, life otherwise is grand. Did I ever write about Thanksgiving? It was lovely and Dengate-eccentric – my parents had a packed, warm house full of food, wine, and beer. There was a spontaneous sing-along of German hiking songs (doesn’t EVERYone have those at Thanksgiving?) and lots of games of Catchphrase.

After dinner, my mom and I and my friend Adam (the muscle) took a big container of food, and cloth napkins, and silverware, to the man who lives under the bridge at 8 Mile and Woodward. It was my mom’s idea; she passes him every day on her way to work and she is a very good person. We pulled up beside his sleeping bag set-up, and I hopped out and handed him the bag of food and accoutrements, saying Happy Thanksgiving a couple too many times, and he said ‘God bless you,’ a lot of times, and I discovered, as I handed him the bag and was close enough to see the guy under the hood of the sweatshirt, that he was my age. Just a young dude – but alone, and living underneath a bridge in Detroit, in winter.  I said Happy Thanksgiving again, and he said God bless you again, and we drove back to my parents’ warm and cozy house.

So as cliche as this last paragraph might be, I am grateful, even if I remain lacking a job in my field, that in this frigid winter I have so many kinds of warmth.

Photo Dec 02, 3 33 06 PM
A view of the Canadian skyline, from Detroit.
Photo Dec 01, 12 48 23 PM
The orchids at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor.

2 thoughts on “how to deal with rejection (of the employment variety)

  1. In cases like this, it is good to believe the “rejection” letter. You really are awesome, overqualified, etc. There was nothing wrong with your cover, your resume or your interview – there were just too many applicants – with preference. BTDT. Love your thankful spirit and hey, we would love to see you back in Colorado!

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