I was rejected last week from something I'd applied for, something I'd felt pretty good about. I was rejected via e-mail - that's the relationship equivalent to getting dumped over a text message. I wasn't even worth a phone call to these bastards!
But instead of getting all weepy and pathetic, I shook it off and got back on with my life. That got me thinking about all the rejection I've experienced in my life and how it's really toughened me up. And I'm not trying to throw a Pity Party and say "Oh poor me. Nobody loves me, blah blah blah." I know I'm a valuable person that has a lot to offer. But that doesn't make me any less susceptible to rejection.
Not all, but many of my experiences in rejection have been in the arena of boys. I remember liking this guy Owen in 10th grade. He was a senior and we were in the same Chemistry class. A semi-mutual friend of ours let me in on a little secret: apparently Owen had a crush on a girl in his Chemistry class - a younger girl. Well, after scoping out my competition (not saying I was spectacular - pretty sure I had braces at the time - but I figured he was referring to me since he didn't talk to any other younger girls in the class besides me).
So Brilliant Me got the fantastic idea to write Owen a note (with a pink pen even!) and leave it on the windshield of his car. I basically just wrote a bunch of gibberish and added my phone number at the end. And then I waited. Waited alllll weekend to hear from him. Not a peep. Hmm, strange.
Come Monday morning, I was quickly told that Owen had a new girlfriend - my enemy Kelley! How in Hades did THAT happen? I'm guessing our mutual friend had received some bad information (or blatantly screwed my ass over - I'm still unsure which), and I had now humiliated myself.
When I look back on that now, I remember I felt awful at school and wanted nothing more than to go home, cry to my mom and listen to the sad tunes of Britney Spears or *NSYNC. Nothing spells out teen angst better than "I'm Not a Girl, Yet Not a Woman" and "Digital Get Down." But I also think back and realize, why was I so sad over that dipshit? He was a juggler for crying out loud! And no, not a juggler of women. An actual juggler - he was always seen throwing around some lame rings or dumb ass hacky sacks. Could Ringling Brother really have made me happy? Highly doubtful.
Then there was the time I was rejected by a guy on national television. Granted, it was a hot, famous BMX rider (Dave Mirra). When MTV came to Lake Tahoe a few years ago, my friend and I went up there to be in some of the beach shots for TRL. It was all taped, so the coverage wasn't shown until the following week. They taped me asking Dave Mirra what he was scared of and if he would marry me (yes, I actually did this). I watched in anticipation that next week when Dave finally came on TRL. His reaction to my request? "Whoa, that's what I'm scared of right there!" or something to that effect. Sigh. Even famous people who are 3,000 miles away and will clearly never meet me couldn't even throw me a bone.
Besides male rejection, I have also experienced academic rejection. I applied for this huge scholarship in college that would have paid for an entire year's worth of tuition. It was for anyone who graduated from my high school in NV, so I figured the pool of applicants (and my competition) was pretty small. I was on the phone with my dad when the letter came, and he listened to me as I opened it all excitedly. Ugh. A big fat NO. I definitely cried after that one.
I can't even begin to cover all the jobs I've been rejected from. Before I joined the PR firm I work for now, I was rejected from some ghetto ass legal secretary job in an office that consisted of one fat ass lawyer and his part-time associate. And he worked in Loomis (with a population of like 40). I'm sure I couldn't have handled the multi-phone line system when his plethora of calls came in. Oh, and that copy machine? That new-fangled contraption can be a bitch to learn how to use.
Overall, I've had my share of being told "no." And while rejection is never fun or easy, it doesn't make me feel as incapacitated as it did when I was younger. A guy not liking me was the end of the world in high school. Not getting a position or scholarship or spot on the cheerleading squad was hard for me and left me questioning myself a lot.
I still question myself at times, but it's those accomplishments and times I've heard "yes" that keep me going. I beat out 100 people for my current position at work, and my oh-so-selfless parents were the best scholarship fund a gal could ask for! I still get rejected by guys, but I've had the pleasure of meeting some really nice ones who have changed me and helped me grow.
Without that risk of rejection, I would not be where I am today. Now I'm better able to shrug things off and move forward. And just think: if I hadn't experienced rejection, I would be some asshole lawyer's bitch and the wife of a circus freak.