Another Rejection

Today I got rejected again. I lost count over how many times this has happened. But at least I got to interview which is like getting to the second level of Donkey Kong before a barrel rolls me over. Admittedly it’s pretty pathetic, but at least I got to fail on a new different level.

It also happened to be a company that I really believed I could help, whose culture aligned with my own and is really the reason I pivoted careers. Which made this rejection give me a major case of “imposter syndrome.”

So I went for a run. There’s a 3-mile lake that I drove to. I ran. Faster than I have in years. To the point where I couldn’t really breathe. But I didn’t let my legs stop. Before when others would speed past me, I would normally think I might as well take a break here because I’m never gonna catch up with them. This time I just ignored not them, but that feeling. That feeling that I’ll never catch up. And pretty soon I’d see those same people on the side of the trail catching their breath.

When I made it back to my car, there was some high school girl in a softball crying next to my car. Her dad was trying to jack up this new Mazda3 that had a blown-out tire. His arm was in a sling and I could tell he wasn’t going to be able to change this tire. The reason being is I overheard the daughter ask why the weird lug nut wouldn’t break, (it was a key lug nut). I kind of laughed in my head, realizing that her dad may have never changed a tire out as well.

I asked if I could help and the dad said “could you break all the lugnuts.” That’s when I said you’d need the lugnut key or there’s really no point. They were searching the trunk for the key for a little bit before I suggested it’s probably in a pouch in the glove box. A few seconds later they found it and I began breaking the lug nuts while the dad was fiddling with the car jack.

And once I got all the nuts broken…


The car jack slid out.

Slightly terrified. I said “let me do that” and I proceeded to jack the car up with the girl’s help while giving an introduction on how to change a tire safely and suggesting that she should change out all her key lug-nuts out with normal ones just in case she loses her key.

She went from crying from frustration to smiling when I said “now you’ve learned to change a tire by yourself and don’t need to call anyone next time.”

As I drove away I realized this is what I really needed today.

I needed to remember not to give up or compare myself to others and that progress is progress, and that when I feel the most helpless, lending someone who otherwise can’t, can make one feel helpful.