I participated in an art competition and I felt a little less than validated.
And it sucked.
A little part of me was in disbelief. The crowd carried me past all the other division artwork, but I knew that my artwork was not among them. I skillfully dodged people from my school and did two full rounds, taking deep breaths, and thinking that breathing deeply released more endorphins or something. As to whether or not that was actually true I didn’t know. After a minute or so of breathing deeply I ducked into the bathroom, which was thankfully empty and started doing yoga. On the public bathroom floor.
I pulled myself together. I calmed my nerves and told myself that I did well. The judging was subjective. It was random. The opinions of two random people do not validate who I am as an artist.
I stepped outside and made my way out of the crowded hallway and to the tables where a few of my friends were standing by. They had all made fours, and were half jokingly telling me that they would kill my judges because they were idiots.
I tried not to be bitter, saying that it was what it was. Then more questions came from them. Why did this happen? How could your work not make a 4? Who were your judges?
And then the validations. Your work was better than most of the stuff out there! They’re crazy for not giving you a higher score. I don’t understand how that art made it and your’s didn’t.
And I tried to hold it together as the same exact things ran through my mind, but I cracked. My friend Rachel enveloped me into a hug, which turned into a big group hug from all of my friends as I clung to them, silently crying and apologizing to them because my sweater was covered in nasty public bathroom floor germs from when I did yoga trying to calm myself down.
And they just stood there with me and held me.
It's not pleasant to feel inadequate. The fact that my two judges didn’t think I was good enough to advance really stung.
I knew that the judging was bullshit going into the competition, but I brought my top game. I honestly did my best. It wasn’t good enough.
So it goes.
The rest of my day I kept to a close group of three friends who I knew would just let things go--- and I did my best to keep myself from crumpling up into a pitiful ball.
ANYWAYS. That was my day. While at the competition I made a puppy sweater from start to finish. And as soon as I got home I called up a friend who I had previously been upset with, but I needed someone to vent to, someone who would just listen and chill with me. I was nice to have someone just silently be with me.
The puppy wouldn’t stay still enough for me to take a picture of her wearing the sweater :/