Well I just got my first rejection. I'm bummed. But it's the first of many, as sad as that may sound, but it's most likely the truth. I already received the letter saying "Thanks but no thanks" to that piece I submitted within the last month. Their website said they respond within 3 to 6 months. I guess if they really don't like your work, they respond quicker.
I honestly didn't expect to get accepted. That only happens in movies. But I didn't think not getting accepted would make me tear up like I did. I choked it back, thinking "If you're going to react this way, the rest of your submissions and rejection letters aren't going to get any easier." It is just a bit of a downer when you put your heart and soul into something and then someone says "It's not what we are looking for."
However, I was just talking to a fellow writer friend of mine and telling her about this. And she congratulated me. She said "You've graduated. You took a certain step in writing and you are on a whole new level." And she put this rejection into a whole new window for me. I'm going to hold on to that rejection letter as a right of passage. Someone did read my stuff, someone did hear my story, and even though it's not what they are looking for, I still had the gumption to send it out.
And you know what? I'm going to do it again.