She recited a four verse 19th century poem from memory, had a beautiful new dress, and had even buffed her own mary-janes. She was beaming with pride and confidence - Little Miss Peanut would be hers...
Until an unfortunate twist of events -
At the end of the contest, it turned out that the winner was simply a name pulled out of a hat at random, and a dirty little tom-boy who had prepared nothing for her talent walked away with the prize.
Afterwards, my grandfather took her out for ice cream and gave her an valuable piece of advice: Life Isn't Fair.
This week, I experienced my own, small, version of Little Miss Peanut failure.
I entered this previously mentioned video contest, and unfortunately, I lost - to an entry that had been turned in a full day late.
I was pretty bummed.
Why is it that I put in so much work, and managed to get my video in on time, and someone else turned it in a full day late and won!?
BUT - then I remembered my grandfather's advice, and I started thinking about all the other things I gained from this experience.
If you look at the list of positive versus negative things that resulted from this project, the positives strongly outweigh the negatives.
As in literally like a hundred to one.
I directed my first film project, I got to create something with all of my friends that will last for years to come, archiving a special time in our lives, I got to live in the fantasy of winning for a week, I became creatively fueled and invigorated, and I made something that I'm really proud of!
So what if I didn't actually win?
To be completely honest, I feel like this was the first time in a while that I kinda put myself out there. A lot of things in my life are pretty comfortable - same job since I was 18, same relationship for going on 6 years, there's a lot of areas of my life where I haven't put myself out there to be rejected.
Sure, I put things on the internet, I open myself up to the possibility of seething YouTube wrath, but nothing where I, and specifically my work, could be out-right denied.
And oddly, it feels kinda good.
I've started finding a bizarre renewal of strength in rejection.
I've encountered the worse case scenario in putting myself out there, and it wasn't that bad at all!
The way I see it - I won.
I didn't get to fly to New York, but I definitely won.
And the best part, I got a phone call from my parents saying I'm still their little miss peanut.