Fessin’ Up: On Rejection

Lindsey over at Composition.al wrote a great post in April 2014 about rejection that resonated with me, so I wrote a long blog post about the ways in which I’ve been rejected through my career and in my personal life.

But before I hit “publish” on that post, I re-read it again… and had a slowly sinking feeling that if I published it, I would be a total asshole. Because when I think about my life, my career, I am incredibly privileged.

Librarianship is overwhelmingly dominated by cis, white women. I’m a cis, white woman. I may be part of a sexual minority but that alone – especially in Massachusetts, where I currently live – hasn’t hurt me professionally.

So yes, I’ve been rejected. But I’ve been rejected in ways that don’t cause me to question whether going into this profession was the right call or not; in ways that don’t threaten my sense of safety nor of self; in ways that don’t resonate with the challenges being faced by new professionals today, nor with professionals who don’t identify as a cis, white woman.

I sit in a place where I can look clinically at those rejections and not wonder if it’s something about ME that caused the rejections. And THAT is what made me pause last week, and made me re-write this entire post.

So I’m not posting that blog post on rejection. Because that smacks of “If I can do it, anyone can”-ism, which is total CRAP. Instead, I quietly acknowledge that my successes and my rejections are both strongly influenced by who I am and by how our world is set up to privilege that. And then I turn my attentions to trying to dismantle the structures that value lives more like mine over lives less like mine.