I left my job about a month ago. After two and a half post-college years at a studio in the city, it was finally time to branch out on my own and explore the world as a freelancer. So off I went.

It has been, rather unsurprisingly, a Transition, and one huge component to this large change is the addition of the hustle to my daily activities. I’m hustling for audio gigs, I’m exploring a couple change-the-world-type ideas, and I’ve also got it in my mind that I’d quite like to work part-time as a personal assistant to an entrepreneur. Over the last year or two I’ve become increasingly interested in business, and I imagine there’s no better way to learn how to run one than by helping someone do it. So part of my activities every day have focused on finding a person I can help be successful and who will be a good teacher (whether they mean to be or not) in a field I’m new to.

Applications, cover letters, and résumés have therefore been sent out and a fair amount of time has been devoted to perusing the internet for the opportunity I’m looking for. About a week and a half ago an ad popped up on Craigslist that just resonated with me. It described exactly the sort of position I had envisioned; the guy who posted it seemed to have a great attitude, and made several rather esoteric references that seemed to indicate a significant like-mindedness between the two of us. I spent the better part of two hours crafting my response. End scene.

I like to wake up early. Not hardcore early, like some people, but I’m usually up around 7 or 7:30 (which is actually earlier than was standard when I had a consistent job to be at every morning). It gives me time to write, read, make breakfast, and sit quietly with a good cup of tea before I must join the rest of the world. If I can start the day this way — calmly, productively, and with a quiet mind — I can generally rock afterward until early afternoon. Aside from occasionally letting the Morning Joe crew in on this time, it’s about the only glowing-screen-free period of my day.

There’s a caveat there though: I usually set an alarm. Said alarm is an application on my phone, and therefore during the very first moment I’m awake on these days, I find myself half-conscious with the internet in the palm of my hand. Without really thinking, on the vast majority of these days I’ll quickly skim through my inbox to see if anything notable has come in. 19 days out of 20 (oh who am I kidding — 99 days out of 100 is probably closer to the truth) there’s nothing I care to look at until later and I move on.

You may see where this is going.

Earlier this week in my post-alarm-clock state I saw a response had come in about the PA position I’d been so sure would be perfect. In a spurt of excited adrenaline I immediately opened the message.

And on the other side of that instinctual screen tap there lived a rather curt rejection, that even took special care to note that a certain line I’d inserted with an intent to be humorous (or at the very least, light-hearted) was not at all appreciated or welcome.

Now this so, so far from a Big Deal. The guy clearly is not one of my Right People, and I am perfectly, absolutely okay with that. Not everyone is, and I feel no need to settle in this realm, to compromise and try to force a situation that doesn’t want to exist — why invest the significant energy required of any relationship when it won’t be beneficial to both me and whomever is on the other side of it?

Rejection is okay. Good, even.

It is a very powerful thing to experience it as the absolute first emotion of the day though. It’s even more powerful when it’s second and the first is elation, which does a pretty great job of accentuating that little psychological tumble down the mountain.

While I am perfectly content knowing I won’t always be perceived the way I intend and things won’t always work out the way I expect, and am absolutely capable of brushing off encounters that don’t go well, this time it really stuck with me throughout the day, imposing a vague sadness and pessimism I just could not shake. That initial emotional imprint is a strong one.

And quite frankly it’s a little ridiculous to let someone else (especially a complete stranger) have control over that moment, as I did. Even if I’d gotten the gig it would have made absolutely no difference to have found out at 8 o’clock instead of 7. I ceded control over my own state of being to the desire to know-right-now.

So no more. There is so little in my life that is that important, and anything that is certainly would not be arriving in the middle of the night via email. So I am sealing that crack, stopping the early inbox-peek, and taking over complete control of my mornings. My oatmeal, my brain, my emotions, and I will be much better for it.

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