MacArthur Park And The Fine Art Of Being Rejected

2011 September 15

Although unintentional, I have a string of non-consecutive posts going in which I mention cake. I don’t know what’s up with that. I can’t even eat cake. But the baked good shoutouts shall continue unabated. Specifically, I’m thinking about MacArthur Park and the fine art of being rejected.

I write about rejection a fair bit on Forbes, mostly about increasing your tolerance to it and putting it into perspective. I think, as a rule, we’re pretty lousy at both. We tend to personalize, romanticize and amplify each rejection and give it a much greater hold over us than it deserves. There will never be another job so perfect, a girl so pretty, an apartment with such an ideal layout.  They feel unique and irreplaceable and we despair that we ever let them get away. We’ll never have that recipe again, truly.


There are plenty of entry-level marketing positions, boys who ride fixed gear bikes and/or recipes for German chocolate cake out there in the world. There really, really are. I’m not saying you have to apply for, make out with and/or taste test each one of them to repair your wounded ego or fix your broken heart, but you should be aware that they exist (check it out for yourself if you don’t believe me) and they’re every bit the equal of what you’re pining over. Take comfort in that. What you lost or missed or let pass you by isn’t one of a kind; it’s one of many. And the shot you screwed up or didn’t take isn’t the only one you’ll ever have. And hell, even if you miss the next one, too, you’ll be better equipped to put that loss in perspective.

Rejection is generic and cake isn’t rationed. In fact, you can even have my share.

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