the beach at Arbroath, Scotland

23 February 2004
get angry

got home from work today. i had gotten some free (very dried up) clay from work, and so i was carrying it down to my studio when i saw it on the dining room table: the dreaded Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope, with my handwriting on the front.

i ripped it open so fast that the shredded cotton lining of the padded envelope exploded all over the table. there were my slides, returned, along with a short letter, which wasn't even signed. very impressive candidates, blah blah blah, huge response, blah blah blah, couldn't find a position for you, blah blah blah. i had never heard it put exactly that way: couldn't find a position for you. in other words, you suck, go elsewhere.

i lugged the clay downstairs and allowed myself a couple tears. it wasn't so much the rejection that stung, but the fact that the turnaround time for the rejection felt fucking instantaneous. i mean, i sent this application for this damn residency on the 14th, last saturday. because of the holiday, they wouldn't have gotten it on monday. so the absolute earliest it would've arrived was tuesday. my rejection letter was dated on friday, the 20th. which means my application was probably one of the first they looked at, and immediately said no and dropped it in the rejection pile. it fucking sucks, and it hurts because i really really thought i had a good shot at this one. more than a good shot, an excellent shot.

i've really got to learn to deal with this better, because every time i have a rejection like this, it just fucks me up for days. for weeks, even. i'm suddenly dragged into this massive rip current of self-doubt, and i think, who am i kidding. i can't be an artist. i should quit wasting my time. i know i'm going to end up back in Lebanon next year, living in the basement of my parents' house, exiled to a life of cornfields, cows, and misery, while the rest of my friends' lives go on. i might as well find a nice boy, like a schoolteacher or an electrician, buy a house, get a mortgage, settle down and make some fucking babies.

i seriously have to stop this.

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