I’ve moved on, I swear I have. Just, it still hurts and I’d like to say this one thing:
On rejection letters
When you unzip your chest and put your soul on display and it’s poured in a beaker like honey and measured and they find it’s not enough, it’s a slap in the face, a slamming of doors. A closing of paths and an erasing of futures.
You’re not good enough.
Maybe it’s a slap well-deserved.
How could you ever think you were good enough?
Maybe it’s a taste, like a dewdrop of pepper juice on your tongue, of the real world. Maybe the encouragement, the belief, the expectation, piled on higher and heavier, were fake and this—this is reality.
I could’ve done more, I could’ve been more, if only I knew I was supposed to. What should have I done? How else should have I molded myself, pressed myself, like the clay I am to your expectation, to the expectation that became mine? (Your expectation that I folded like a love letter and stuck in my chest where it prickeld and prickled until eventually it fused with my heart.)
It was a really competitive application pool this year.
I couldn’t compete.
We had limited space.
There wasn’t space for me.