Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Chosen

I was always the last one chosen for teams when I was a child.  I was small and skinny, and I came from a family that prized brains, because we had no brawn.  It didn't bother me, because I didn't want to play anyway -- secretly, I hoped the gym teachers would just say, "Oh, it's alright, Jackie.  We'll give you credit for your outstanding reading skills.  You don't have to play."  That never happened.  Not even once.  Character-building came through failed efforts to serve the volleyball, pop flies that I either missed or that landed on my face, and an inability to put a basketball through the hoop.

Recently, however, I had a different kind of experience with not being chosen.  American Spring, the exhibit put together by the Fiber Artists for Hope, is in Little Rock, Arkansas as part of the commemoration of the 55th Anniversary of Central High School's desegregation.  All of the quilts were shipped to Arkansas but the two venues did not have room for all of them, so the people setting up the displays selected what they wanted based on the story they were trying to tell.

My piece was not among the chosen.

I shrugged it off at first, but then I went back and looked at what seemed like an awfully long list of the pieces that were selected.  Instead of being happy for the other group members, I was getting grumbly.  Was I the only one that didn't get picked?  What was wrong with mine?  This isn't volleyball, people, so why didn't I get picked?  In my jealous fog I even went back and compared the "yesses" to the complete list.

I am not proud of this.

Reason and calm returned when I saw that no, mine wasn't the only one, and that there were recurring themes in the works that would be hung in Little Rock.  The organizers had chosen wisely.  I was embarrassed about my mental tantrum and no one even knew about it.

I felt even more ridiculous this morning when I read the email notifying me that my quilt, along with seven others, would be travelling to Philadelphia to be displayed at a youth anti-violence conference.  Dick Gregory and Trayvon Martin's parents will be speaking.  This venue is perfect for these eight quilts and I am thrilled that mine is going.  What was that about good things and waiting?  Maybe next time, I'll hold off on the indignation and see what happens.


Linking up with Yeah Write again this week, because I can't seem to stop myself.



46 comments:

  1. This is wonderful! I would have done the same thing - comparing and wondering why me or why not me? Your story is such a good reminder for me.
    What a great surprise and a heartfelt congratulations to you!

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    1. Thank you! I just keep learning the same lesson in different ways.

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  2. I'm glad it worked out for you! (But I woulda been secretly a little bitter at that initial news, too...)

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    1. I'm just glad I didn't have time to call a friend and whine. Secret tantrums are one thing, but taking them public...

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  3. Oh please please post a photo of your quilt! Meanwhile, congratulations on the honor and on this wonderful post. I also was never picked for teams and even hoped I would break my arm on my way to P.E. so I could get out of it. If I had been at your school. . . you would have been picked second-to-last instead of last!

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    1. I used to hope for injury, too! I was more ankle-focused than arm-focused, though. You can see pictures in my June 7 post on the blog. I don't know if this will create a link but it's www.jbryantcampbell.blogspot.com/2012/06/when-will-they-see-completed.html

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  4. Yes--let's see the quilt!

    A friend rejected me this week. Well, an acquaintance. I'm new in my city and making new friends is my mission these days. She unfollowed me on Twitter after I tweeted about a lice outbreak in my house and then hating the blood part of my period later in the week. When I asked her about it, she said it was just too much. I was hurt, and then I beat myself up for feeling hurt.

    I went to a meetup a few days later and met a new, potential friend. I ended up telling her about his recent rejection and how I felt stupid for caring. She said, "Hey, you got rejected. It's pretty natural to care. That hurts. Feel it." It was really validating. I mean, it's not like I went apeshit on anyone, I just felt hurt, wondered why, did some self-reflection to see if it was grounded rejected. Something in me I needed to address.

    Nothing wrong with what you felt. Feel it, observe it, and move forward. We beat ourselves up for what we FEEL. It's nonsense. Rejection is hard. Period.

    xo

    Also -- PRETTY PLEASE add name/url to your comment option drop down menu. I don't use my LJ account and I don't have the others.

    http://truthfully.ca

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    1. I'm sorry you had such a hurtful experience. Moving to a new place and having to make friends is never easy, almost like being back in high school.

      We do have to feel what we feel, even if what we feel is silly later.

      I'll investigate the name/url option. I don't want to discourage comments.

      You can see pictures in my June 7 post on the blog. This won't create a link but it's www.jbryantcampbell.blogspot.com/2012/06/when-will-they-see-completed.html

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  5. So we'd all love to see your quilt. I would have obsessively pondered the same way. I'm so happy yours will be going to Philly though. I agree that sometimes we have to be patient...hard for me though!

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    1. Patience is a recurring lesson, I've discovered.

      You can see pictures in my June 7 post on the blog. This won't create a link but it's www.jbryantcampbell.blogspot.com/2012/06/when-will-they-see-completed.html

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  6. Oh but it's so HARD when you're suffering that initial feeling of rejection, particularly when you weren't expecting it. When it comes from left field, it's very hard not to be bitter and angry.

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    1. It makes me wonder what's really going through the minds of the people who were nominated for an award and then don't win, but the camera cuts to them.

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  7. Good for you. Loved that first paragraph, btw - right there with you on being the scrawny, not-picked kid!

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    1. We're like our own little secret society! I suspect it's because of people like us that they don't do this in gym class anymore.

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  8. oh i hear you. it's SO SO SO hard not to go back and stew over why you didn't get chosen. but HUGE CONGRATS for what you were chosen for!!!

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    1. Thank you! I certainly appreciated it more after the tantrum than if that hadn't happened.

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  9. I love the journey in this post. And congratulations!

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  10. What a cool thing for your quilt to be doing! I agree with everyone else, I want to see your quilt.

    I am jealous of your mad quilting skills. I can serve a volleyball, but I'll never make a pretty quilt.

    And your post is a good reminder about being patient and waiting. I'm so not good at that.

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    1. One time when we were playing volleyball in my high school gym class, I served the ball over the net. The other team was napping (they knew me) and I scored! Thinking it was a fluke, they went back to sleep for my second serve. I scored again! They were ready after that, but the ball never went over the net again.

      You can see pictures in my June 7 post on the blog. This won't create a link but it's www.jbryantcampbell.blogspot.com/2012/06/when-will-they-see-completed.html

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  11. Congratulations! I want to see your quilt too! I think it's human nature to act that way when disappointed. Great story!

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    1. Thank you! You can see pictures in my June 7 post on the blog. This won't create a link but it's www.jbryantcampbell.blogspot.com/2012/06/when-will-they-see-completed.html

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  12. Very honest post. I've certainly felt this way, but would be reticent to admit it. So thanks for writing it so we all know we're not alone. At least that's the way it grabbed me. And a hearty congrats on having your quilt displayed at an anti-violence conference. How cool is that!

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    1. Thank you! It took about an hour to get the nerve to hit "publish." Suppose someone saw this?

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  13. I really liked this story. It is a good reminder about the possibilities that arise when our wishes are not granted

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  14. Great story about patience. I think you need to post a picture of your quilt. I'm sure we would all love to see it. What a great honor for an important issue -- non-violence. Now my random story: I was always picked last in gym class too. Not just because I was small, but because I SUCKED at sports. In fact, I was so bad that I was once called into the associate principal's office in high school because my gym teacher thought I was purposely bad just to piss her off.

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    1. Ha! I never reached that level, but in college one of my aunts failed swimming (which was required) and had to take it again from the same teacher. In danger of failing again, the teacher told her that she would pass her if she never, ever took another class from her.

      You can see a picture of the quilt in my June 7 blog post. This won't create a link, but it is at www.jbryantcampbell.blogspot.com/2012/06/when-will-they-see-completed.html.

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  15. Oh my, I love quilts and I totally relate to how you were thinking about this.

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  16. congrats from a fellow last-chosen-at-sports girl :)

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  17. Oh I've been there before. Wondering why I wasn't chosen. I loved how things ended up for you, and love your ability to realize these feelings in yourself.

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    1. Thank you, and it's a lot easier to write something like this when there is a happy ending. Otherwise, you just look surly.

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  18. I think that was a totally normal reaction-you submit to be chosen for something and then want to know why your submission isn't good enough. You didn't go on a facebook/twitter/blog rant and you ended up being chosen for something more fitting :) So glad it all worked out for you (from another last-picked-for-sports girl)!

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    1. Thank you! There are a lot of us last-picked girls at yeah write, aren't there! Coincidence?

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  19. Congrats! This is wonderful news especially after the initial disappointment.

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  20. I loved your honesty here. It must have been awfully hard to admit those feelings to yourself, let along blog about them. Rejection in any form can be so painful. I'm very happy to hear that things worked out in the end for you and your quilt. Congratulations! Would love to see a picture of it.

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    1. Thank you! I wasn't sure I wanted to publish this one, but I always ask my kids "So what did we learn from this?" and it seemed like the right thing to do.

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  21. Hmmm... seems to me that you were suffering from an acute case of being human :) I don't know anyone who wouldn't be happy -- what we create is an extension of self. So it stands to reason, that if someone doesn't like what we create, we feel like they don't like a part of us -- even when it isn't the case.

    I'm thrilled that your quilt will get a showing that is a better fit -- congratulations!!

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    1. Thank you! Sometimes that being human thing can really trip you up.

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  22. Congratulations on having your quilt selected, even if it wasn't for what you originally intended. It's so hard to put our work out there and then feel rejected. I can completely understand your feelings here!

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    1. Thank you! Lesson learned for the next time, I hope.

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  23. I want to see your quilt that traveled to Philly!

    No one likes being picked last or not getting picked.

    I liked your description of your emotions in this and how you felt grumbly. I have felt this way before. Lots.

    I pick you!
    XO,
    Pippi

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  24. Thanks, Pippi! You can see pictures of the quilt in my June 7 blog post. This won't create a link but the address is www.jbryantcampbell.blogspot.com/2012/06/when-will-they-see-completed.html.

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