I did it again. I got my hopes up high and huge that I would be The Perfect Choice for a gig in Hollywood I went after. Felt even moreso after I got to the second interview with the new marketing director.

But that second dance was in the middle of December. And a “Happy New Year” follow-up email sent the week after Christmas went unanswered. Seeing the writing on the wall I sent another one to the firm’s HR director about a week ago telling her I was indeed still available and very much interested. That one drew a response but it told me more than I needed to know:

Thanks for the follow up. We have narrowed in on [a] specific candidate though we’re still in the negotiation phase so the decision is not yet final. I will keep you posted.

Awwwww, come on! Didja have to go there with the “yeah we left you behind but we might come back and throw the bone in your general direction if our first and oh-so-infinitely more appealing and probably better qualified not to mention spiffier dresser with flawless skin and perfect teeth and higher IQ and more experience and more pleasing personality and wicked sense of humor along with a better cell phone who’s fluent in five languages turns us down.”

Really, now. A simple blanket blow-off of “We’re still in the process of finalizing our choice” would’ve been fine. Would’ve been better. Because to be frank this entire job searching thing is one big egosuck — especially when you have to hunker down and suffer through repeated rejections no matter how good you think you are. No matter what benefit you might think you’ll be.

So in the days that have passed since being told I was second best (or perhaps third or fourth) I’ve been recovering from the blow. And by recovering I mean trying to dig deep and steel my resolve to stand up and smile and dance with whoever next comes down the CareerBuilder/Monster/JournalismJobs/DotCom pipe.

I do my best to keep the outlook positive. I do my best to know that this isn’t forever and that there is some company out there that will slap me on the back and welcome me inside.

But it gets dreary. It gets mean. It gets scary. I find myself in the car on the way to the store, or walking the dog, or taking a picture or doing something in the backyard, or reading, or sleeping, and suddenly there’s a physical pain I experience as the voice inside my head tells me I don’t have what it takes. That I’m not tough enough or employable enough so why not just give up and become a cabbie or a clerk at Radio Shack. Do something punk, the voice tells me. Anything!

Ahhh, but I can’t do that. I won’t do that. And I’m still telling that voice no. And I’m still telling that voice that as difficult as it is it could be a helluva lot worse and lonelier if I didn’t have the love of my life standing with me. And I’m still telling that voice it is just a matter of time. And as such I pick myself up and go through the motions all over again, albeit a little more wary. A little less enthusiastic.

I applied to two jobs this morning. Two jobs I could and would kick ass at. Let’s see what happens.