Sometimes… it’s hard to be thankful

Amongst all the messages of Thanksgiving and hopeful wishes, I can’t seem to shake off the rejection I’ve recently received. The past few weeks has challenged my thinking and created me to reconsider the direction of my profession as an artist.

Don’t get me wrong…

I am ALWAYS very grateful (my family and I are healthy-what more could I ask for? — well…I could) and have an innate tendency to see the positive side of my experiences. I’m always very determined to accomplish my goals (personal and professionally) and find myself often encouraging others to push past their challenges (I may have missed my calling as a coach?).

But every now and then, the “no’s” get to me.

The 4 big grants I spent much of my time completing was rejected (I just knew I would be awarded at least one). The exhibit I hoped to participate in at the Smithsonian… rejected (still puzzled by that). An Editor at L’Oreal interviewed me to feature a story about my work… cancelled. Vroman’s Bookstore in California, shipped my books back (due to no sales), and others are coming up soon.


I haven’t been able to finish my film, not just due to lack of funding ($30,000 to be exact) but also due to the lack of b-roll. Scheduling additional filming dates hasn’t gone so well due to everyone’s schedule.

On my challenging days, I seek quotes that resonate with me and what I’m going through (I love quotes). In this particular situation, I thought about Oprah’s words on the finale of her show, which I’m sure I’ve shared before).

I’ve talked to nearly 30,000 people on this show, and all 30,000 had one thing in common: They all wanted validation. If I could reach through this television and sit on your sofa or sit on a stool in your kitchen right now, I would tell you that every single person you will ever meet shares that common desire. They want to know: ‘Do you see me? Do you hear me? Does what I say mean anything to you?

In truth, my response is a feeling of unappreciation, which truly boils down to feeling a lack of validation. I’m fully aware that I will receive more rejection than acceptance in anything, but at times it’s hard… and exhausting.

And I honestly needed the time to simply slow down a bit, vent about what I’m feeling and give myself the time to grief (Is that an appropriate word? It’s as close to a word as I can come up with at the moment) and rest.

Ipray4u-laugh.jpgSo on this day of Thanksgiving, I must admit, sometimes being completely thankful is hard but even in the moments of disappointment, there’s so much to be thankful about. Not only am I in the best of health but I’m grateful to come home to an amazing family every day. As always I get up, adjust myself and keep going.

What are your challenges and what are you thankful for?

Enjoy the Holiday!

6 thoughts on “Sometimes… it’s hard to be thankful”

  1. It’s all part of it. Of life. It won’t be any other way. Ups. Downs. Rejection is a part of the artist’s way. Having major undertakings take a lot longer than we expect (those of us who are optimists) and a lot longer than we want is ever so common. Not even a week ago, I hung some finishing decorations in my new space, a space that took 15 months to find me… Today I offer gratitude: For everything that was , and everything that was not. Everything that is, everything that is not. Everything that will be, and everything that was never meant to be. For the whole of it. I promise you I stumbled upon those words in the midst of my facing a major life challenge and also after I begun realizing the words I wrote above. It’s all part of it. That deep understanding, that one thought will wreak havoc on any feelings of loss. For the better! Love and acceptance

    1. That’s so powerful Teresa. Thank you for sharing. I’m always an firm believer that everything happens for a reason, which is what the quote sums up to be. I did want to share my feelings about it because people often see your success and assume it was easy. It’s far from easy. I prefer to be transparent about my experience. Not only as a form of release but also with the hope that it my help someone else. Thank you for taking the time to read and share such a beautiful quote.

  2. Right now it’s probably not much anyone can say to make you feel better. Like you said you will wake up the next day, shake it off and keep moving forward. Just take a step back, breathe and jump back on the train. Your day is coming.

  3. Hey Dawn! It’s a part of the process and giving up is not an option so I keep going. I must be honest in admitting it’s far from easy. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed the holiday.

  4. I’m sorry to hear about these rejections – your work is so important and very appreciated by everyone whose lives it has touched, and I am sure it will find a way into more people’s lives, even if it doesn’t happen today or even next month. Stay strong! We believe in you.

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