You suck. Sorry, I’m not sorry. I had to say it.
Ever since getting denied at the cool kids lunch table, or when I got the dreaded “we need to talk” text from my first and only boyfriend.
You are a pang of immediate isolation– not the spiritual type I crave during my zen Sunday morning. More like the type that is a jab in the back. When you’re uninvited to a party that you already bought a dress to go to. It’s a sense of immediately feeling like you don’t belong. Like when you show your fake ID to the bouncer who then asks you the capital city of your birth state that you get wrong. Failing that pop quiz means you don’t get the admittance ticket. You’re back to square one. Plannless. Feeling pathetic and arousing pity being alone.
I’ve felt you countless times.
When I received small envelopes from my dream colleges that unveiled I was not good enough to become a Wolverine or Badger.
When I was never called back to the second round of lacrosse tryouts.
You were on every bid card while I rushed my sorority. Out of all 17 of them, only one wanted me.
In my liver, you showed up in my body when it resented me for double fisting and chugging blue Red Bull ‘Trashcan’ drinks.
After I gave the clammiest of handshakes and wore blister-bursting shoes in a dreadful amount of layers of clothes while interviewing to join a business fraternity.
You were looming over my head when I received a calendar invite for a 15-minute check-in Zoom call with the head of HR, who then booted me from corporate America.
You’ve shown up in subtle ways like during hundreds of job applications I’ve been ghosted from, and in less subtle ones, like never showing up to the second dinner date.
Rejection, you helped me toe the line though. At least I tried.
Sure, you showed me, but I’d rather live with these moments, minutes, or months of sadness from failing rather than the regret that I didn’t try. At least I had the courage to attempt. I showed up, and I will never regret that.
You make me question what my worth is. I can’t help but wonder what the point of even showing up is when it feels like only pain in return.
Now, I know you are providing me with direction for where to lead my life. I want to belong and feel accepted. I know you’ll be back. My reactions will feel out of my control, but I do have ownership over my response. I am learning how to live each time you enter the room. I’m more ready for the next time we meet.
This was originally shared in 👋 Letter 122: My Letter to Rejection