We all remember when our parents, grandparents, or older siblings/friends reassured us that falling off of our bicycle the first time we tried was perfectly fine. As a young child, I would get up, scratch off my knees, and shed a couple tears as my mother sat me down and slowly whispered into my ear "Dear, you're fine." No, mom, I'm not fine actually (never once did I find myself happy with an adult telling me I was fine.) My arm hurts and all I wanted was a cookie. A high-five from dad and a cookie from mom, next minute you're back up on the bike, striding forward one leg at a time, trying not to think of the next moment you're going to fall down and humiliate yourself in front of the people you aspire to be like most.
Fast-forward to present day life as a (young) adult. Applying for summer internships, jobs, boyfriend/girlfriend scouting with friends everywhere that you go... adults tell us when we are younger that the minute you're put down, to get right back up and move on. Wow, there's a piece of advice I might have actually taken into consideration from my parents. I've gone to my fair share of auditions, applied for my fair share of jobs or gotten upset when someone has been given something I felt I deserved, but we all have. There are going to be the people that work as hard or harder than you in school, but the other person is going to get in to your dream college. Getting up and "moving on" is not quite as easy as hearing mom say the words when you're five and getting back up on to your bicycle. There is an underlying amount of intense pressure for all high school or college level students to succeed, even though only 51 percent of college graduates have found employment since 2006. The minute someone opens their college acceptance letter from the college of their choice and sees the first word as "unfortunately," it's hard to not think about how to tell your parents or guidance counselor about the disappointing information.
My point is, in society today, the pressure to succeed is enormous, and can be overwhelming, enough to make you consider whether you would rather stop following your dreams and take up a job as something below your capability. The minute Taylor Swift comes out with a new music video about another teenage boy, her fans and audience moan and groan about how repetitive she is, when they still continue to listen to her music. When Kanye West walked on to the stage at a music awards ceremony a few years ago and interrupted her acceptance speech, she handled it in the most lady like and sophisticated way. Someone not as strong may have cracked under pressure, or picked a fight with Kanye, but not Taylor. She has something everyone should aspire to gain control of.
The more rejection we face as a society, the more enticed we are to move forward. After losing the lead part of every musical in my school from 5th-8th grade, I finally realized singing is not my specialty (even though every time I sing in the shower I'm convinced a record manager needs to stop by my house), and opened up a new realm of opportunity for myself. Even if I were to be a fabulous singer, there was a possibility that all the roles still would have gone to different people. But thank gosh they did, because otherwise I would never have began my journey as a blogger.
Next time you get a college rejection letter in the mail, or a part in a school play as a background character instead of a lead, or the opposite summer internship from the one that you desired, consider how a different path may benefit you. The initial shock is going to leave you upset, angry and annoyed, as is all rejection, but after regrouping and finding yourself again, just remember when you fell off your bike as a toddler, and how easy it was to get back on and regain your balance.