Letter from the editor: Rejection and pursuing our dreams


Recently, I got the chance to see the new movie “La La Land.” Sitting in the dark movie theater, I was completely captivated by the bright colors, the lively music, and the fun songs in this movie.

But what captivated me the most was the character Mia, played by Emma Stone. Mia is a small-town girl working in a coffeeshop in Hollywood and dreaming of the day when she’ll make it into the acting world.

Throughout the film, Mia is trying to find the spotlight, trying to use her talents to pursue her dream. And she is constantly being told “No.” She begins to feel the pain of rejection, and to experience the thoughts that she’s not worth anything and she could never be as pretty as the other girls who are auditioning with her. This all piles up into her crushing despair after she produces a one-woman show that is viewed as a total flop. Mia returns home, swearing she is done with acting, until she learns that a major acting company had seen her performance at her one-woman show and loved it. When she returns to L.A., she is given the chance to audition one more time, leading her to perform the song “The Fools Who Dream.”

It’s very easy to get discouraged with following a dream. And when I say dream, I also mean God’s desire for my life. Oftentimes, they can be one and the same thing. It’s too easy just to sit back and think, “No, I’m safe here. I don’t want to work that hard for a dream.”

Mia was willing to give up. She tried, she failed, and she decided it was over and she wasn’t going back. It is not until Sebastian, played by Ryan Gosling, comes to find her and convinces her that he still believes in her talent, that she once again finds courage to follow her dream.

Oftentimes, God puts a person into your life for a reason. If Mia had never known Sebastian, he wouldn’t have been there to encourage her and believe in her and she would never have followed her lifelong dream of becoming an actress.

It’s easy to give up, but Mia chose to try again.

How often in our lives do we get discouraged, and rather than working for a better life, we settle for mediocrity? We settle for whatever is given to us, and we do not aim for something higher. As Catholics, our ultimate goal is Heaven. We are aiming for the highest goal that can ever be reached, sainthood. Shouldn’t that be inspiration enough to live our lives here on earth aiming for greater goals, and not settling for mediocrity?

When Mia goes for her final audition, she is confident. She doesn’t have anything to prove, and she is coming as herself. She’s not putting on a show, she is exactly the person she is meant to be. And she is confident in who she is. That is the type of person God meant for us to be.

We are meant to be constantly pursuing goals, no matter what despair we might fall into. Because usually in those moments of despair, that is when God sends someone to help us along to convince us that we are worth it.

Sebastian convinces Mia that she is worth it, that she is a great actress, and when she begins despairing, he reminds her that this has been her lifelong dream. Mia is not meant to give up, but to keep going.

Mia represents someone that we can all relate to. It’s difficult to follow a dream, to follow God’s calling for us in our lives. Oftentimes, we can fall into the trap of thinking we’re not good enough, talented enough, pretty enough or smart enough.

Just when things get darker, right when everything seems hopeless, that’s when God opens the door. It happens all of the time. It can just be a conversation between two people, a job opening, or moving to a new job or a new campus.

We all have those moments of despair, the moments when we just don’t know when we are going to be able to come out of the dark. When we invest our time and talent into something, and it all seems for nothing. That’s usually when God proves us wrong.

Our lives are meant to be lived to the fullest. We are meant to thrive, not just survive. We could choose to give up, or we could choose to try again. Those moments when we get knocked over, but choose to stand up again, make us stronger, more confident, and more like the people we were meant to be in God’s eyes.