This has been a year of glorious mistakes.
Don’t get me wrong -- I’ve had some amazing moments of success, moments where I felt almost delirious with power and happiness. But I’ve also had moments of stomach sinking loss and regret. I’ve shut down at times when I needed to communicate. I’ve messed up on important projects. I’ve gotten rejected by friends, lovers, and otherwise. But most importantly, I have learned.
There is loss, and there is losing. These words carry something hollow, the absence of something, a defeat, a misplacement -- different layers of a related concept, yet slightly different. To me, loss is a process, a progression. Loss is a horrible but necessary step towards becoming the fullest version of yourself. Losing is a matter of perception.
A friend I met this year shared a jolting goal he had for the year: to get rejected at least ten times.
“Why would you want to get rejected?” I asked him.
“Because it means that I’m trying,” he told me. “It means that I’m putting my work out there.”
In his eyes, getting rejected was an accomplishment. Rejection may be a loss, but it didn’t mean he was losing.
I’ve carried this mindset with me throughout this year, as I’ve navigated the growing pains of independence and creative attention. When I think of my losses this year, it’s clear that many of them were necessary. When I shut down during a vital moment, I learned the importance of being vulnerable. When I screwed up my project, I learned attention to detail. The rejection of others taught me how to accept myself.
I am learning, and learning, and learning.
yours in haste,
kelsey day is a young award winning poet who grew up in the blue mountains of north carolina. she has received recognition for a collection of short stories, as well as two novels she published at the ages of 11 and 13. today she is studying creative writing in boston, massachusetts.