I always tell myself that I am good at dealing with disappointment in life. Being an optimist, this is usually an easy thing for me to deal with. However, I wonder if you ever really learn to deal with that initial pang of disappointment when you receive news that is "bad" rather than "good". Is there anything that you can do to prepare your mind and body for the outcome?
I watched the postman arrive this morning as I was hanging up some washing, knowing that there was a chance of a letter I'd been waiting for to be delivered. I thought (irrationally and with a higher than usual level of superstition, for me) that if I didn't actually collect the post from the doormat until he'd walked away, then if I piled the letters up without looking at the envelopes first, that my letter would contain good news. I also thought (again, superstition took over at this point) that because Keith was out at the time, that was significant to me receiving good news. You will have guessed by now, of course, that I was suitably disappointed to read that my two entries for the Ferens Open Exhibition had both been UNSUCCESSFUL. I wrote that word in block capitals because that's what they do on the letter they send you - just in case you misinterpret the wording, I suppose! What tickles me, is that even though you have been UNSUCCESSFUL (you see, that word is now indelibly printed on my mind in block capitals) they still enclose an invite to the preview evening. Is it just me, or is that not just a bit insensitive? It's like that programme I remember from my childhood - Bullseye, when they used to say to the contestants "Here's what you could have won". Fair enough, I will still want to go and have a look at the other entries, I'm sure the exhibition will be fantastic and I am genuinely happy for all those people that were successful. However, I'm not sure I want to be there on the preview night knowing full well that my two paintings are hidden away somewhere waiting for me to collect and bring home when all around me are the "winning" entries.
I tend to get over disappointment fairly quickly and try not to take it personally, but it's still not easy when it's something you've set your heart on. I'm sure I'm not alone here, so thought I'd share my thoughts with some of you that will have no doubt experienced similar rejections throughout your art career.
I am wallowing just a tad in self-pity, but at the same time I'm concentrating on my latest creation - I've painted a small acrylic and ink painting on canvas board of a tulip head. I took photographs along the way as I created this and am now in the process of trying to remember how to use Proshow Gold to create a slide show of the photographs. Then I will be posting the whole thing on here, hopefully! It's a useful distraction to disappointment, but I may also have to consume some chocolate at some point today, too!