On rituals after rejection, or: You are more than your academic productivity
Updated: Aug 5
Rejections are relentless for the feminist killjoy academic. Nevermind reviewer 2, the academic job market means those of us looking for a secure job and/or working to keep one are generally facing a churn of many, many rejections from job applications, journals, postdocs, grants, and likely in our personal life from friends or family given the challenges of establishing a work/life balance where we show up for those we care about as our best self.
A rejected cat
How do we heal and hold space for rejection? How do we refuse productivity as self worth and actually find joy in this refusal? Here are some reminders to myself about things to do when I'm facing these questions and you're welcome to borrow them as well.
Ps: You do not need to mourn rejection publicly.
PPS: Forget FOMU and take a break, whatever that looks like right now.
Meditate and light a candle. You are enough and this rejection has nothing to do with your survival. You are safe.
Play that album that got you through comps (after you failed). Dance, at least a little.
Go for a walk. Take/draw a picture. Keep it for yourself. It is for you.
Write for yourself something no one else reads.
Pet a cat. Or a horse. Tell her, ‘you are so beautiful’. She is and so are you.
Reframe. Look out the window. Know this view will be different tomorrow.
Value and make space for rest over resilience.
Call a friend. Let them talk to you about their life.
Order your fave take-out. Maybe order an extra dish. Probably watch an episode of a show you've watched many, many times while you eat this food.
Mantra: I am worthy. I am a good person.
Alternative version: I am worthy. I am a good person. I am a feminist killjoy witch,
A Beautiful Cat