Today’s prompt is discussing a fear I have conquered. While I don’t believe that anyone 💯 percent, can conquer the fear of rejection but , I think that I have gotten really well at handling it. My grandparents, who took me in until my mother was settled down, were from a generation where children were expected to “be seen but not heard” and I did everything I was told or else I would be punished. I learned manners and never to talk back. I knew to stay in the background while the adults carried on. This served me well as a young child. I was favored by most adults for being well behaved and polite.

My feelings of security and acceptance were blown apart when I was 10 and we moved from the sweet middle class neighborhood to the wealthy enclave in the next town over. Parents, try not to switch your kids school during a school year, it’s just that much harder for the kid. For me, it was death of the friendly happy fun times with classmates and neighborhood kids. The new house was hidden behind hedges, no children playing “til the lights go on” in the new neighborhood. I never even saw our neighbors!No stores close enough to ride bikes to, just me, a baby sister , the housekeeper (who didn’t speak English) and our poodle. My parents were always working and going out. I had my books and drawings and homelife was lonely, but I adapted. School was a different beast. From the moment I stepped on the campus of my new school, the name calling and “teasing “ began. It went on for two /three years. I was targeted for being stupid, ugly, brown skinned and for how I dressed in cheap clothing. For having crazy hair. I hadn’t learned to fight back or even how to argue. All I knew was to keep quiet 🤫 and this unpopularity spread to religious school where a few of the new classmates also attended . Making fun (bullying wasn’t a common term back then) of me was part of the curriculum. Making art and Reading saved me, I read way above my grade level and escaped into books. By middle school the kids were done with bugging me and I found some friends who thought I was funny and my skin tone was admired for being “tan”.

I was a 4th, 5th and 6th grade “Reject”. I didn’t fight back but stayed quiet 🤫, drew a lot of pictures and read a lot . Eventually, classmates got bored or matured enough to leave me alone. that’s not me it’s Ally Sheedy as the freak in The Breakfast Club. My high school years went way better than 4th grade, thank goddess!

I relay this sad saga of 4th & 5th & 6th grade not for sympathy ❤️‍🩹 but as part of the process of overcoming rejection. It is painful to be rejected…. But, sooner or later everyone who tries anything new is facing rejection. If rejection is painful, why put oneself in a situation where they might be hurt? When you are an artist 👩‍🎨 rejection is going to happen.

I am always expecting rejection when I put something out there. I don’t welcome rejection but I do not fear it. I know deep down inside I cannot be stopped from making what I want to make. When I create a mistake, I always process and learn from it. When that happens, the rejection is a friend flagging me over to show me what is not working.

I am not an outgoing and testing limits person and do not seek out exhibitions expecting to automatically get juried in. I’m hoping and always to do well but when I’m not included in an art show or gallery, I do not get flattened by rejection, I just get back to work!

Thanks for following this stream of Sunday morning consciousness! I hope you enjoy your day🌹

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