My journey as an artist has been peppered with rejections, including three separate "no's" to the same university (whose mascot is a cougar). It is my natural inclination at these moments to feel sad, worthless, and confused. I have found, though, that each rejection has strengthened me, my relationship with my family, and my trust in God. I leave more capable of tackling the next challenge. This cougar is a symbol of my fight to take on the challenges of life, of the goodness that has come as the result of so many closed doors, and my commitment to keep pursuing dreams.