I have spent almost my entire adult life submitting applications to grants and art foundations in the hopes of one day making a decent film. It is a goal that I have yet to achieve in this life: a film, with a budget to get actors with strong chops and sets, and locations and the opportunity to put together a marvelous crew of handymen and handywomen all with the same vision, and the money is coming from a source that believes in the project as well. In a perfect world, this is ideal. In reality, it’s a pipe dream, because there are 10,000 other filmmakers out there with the same dream, fighting for their vision.
Needless to say, I’m used to rejection.
Rejection is fine. It’s even necessary. But I’m the type that needs closure. I would prefer a grant foundation tell me my idea is terrible in an e-mail than to not say anything at all. At least when you tell me I stink, I know where we stand. When we seek closure, we are looking for answers as to the cause of a certain loss in order to resolve the painful feelings it’s created.
When I need closure, it’s generally because something that meant a great deal to me is no longer a thing. A friendship, a relationship, a death, a job, a sales pitch, one minute you have it all figured out, the next minute, poof! What happened? Some people are comfortable with never finding out what happened, leaving things, as I see it, unresolved.
Closure stings, because it’s honest. It’s why people run away or are silent for years. Who really wants to look in the mirror and look at all their scars? Who has time for all that drama? Blegh! What’s worse is sometimes you go through the heartache of exposing your feelings and the ‘closure’ you receive doesn’t actually close anything for you. Sometimes the answer as to why your animated western-themed detective film didn’t get picked was because the juror hates animated films. They may be a monster with a heart of stone, but hey, I got what little closure I could muster.
So, what do you do if someone ghosts you? How do you deal with closure if you’ve received some? Even if you get an ex-friend to talk a little about what happened, there’s really no way of knowing if their assessment of the situation is fair or concurs with your viewpoint at all.
The best thing when faced with rejection is to take responsibility for what you did and accept the cold hard truth that no answer received will probably be perfect. You were still rejected and that hurts like hell, but when you feel like it’s raining on you, it’s important to get wet every now and then. Ultimately closure is complicated and messy, but it’s sometimes a necessary part of growing. And sometimes even closure can help someone learn to live with ambiguity. Sometimes the world responds with the plainest and simplest closure one can get: “That’s life!” And whether I like that answer or not, it’s the only answer that can ever really be relied on.