Rejection can wear quite a few faces – love, friendships, relationships, acquaintances, hell even a stranger can reject you – if you’re the sort that unmistakably knows how to find it in everyone. If you’re the sort… like me.
It may ride into your life at first adopting the form of hope and promise, change, too, and then leave you feeling exactly as intended – rejected. This can happen unintentionally sometimes. It’s good to remember though, not all rejection is inherently bad rejection. Hence, the multi-face being that sits so naturally atop her throne of “what could have beens,” glaring, nodding at me in a telling way.
Don’t mistake me: I know the hurt I’ve been spared in being rejected, or in rejecting others. I know how many experiences could have drastically changed every part of my life, had rejection not played a key part. And yes, I am thankful for it to a degree. Thankful that I’m not a battered wife to a rotten husband. Thankful I’m not mentally and verbally abused every second of the day. Thankful I didn’t drink that one drink from that one person who’s ill intentions were clear as a summer day. And on and on.
Sometimes it’s a gentle process; one could go so far as to suggest there’s a kindness to it even. Other times it can be harsh, abrasive and leave you reeling for …years. The kind of reeling that makes you question every unimportant detail of who and what you are: Is my face shaped wrong? Is my hair the wrong color? Is my voice annoying? How about when I laugh, is that nails on a chalkboard? Is my job good enough? And on and on it goes.
You eventually find your way through beneath that surface area but everything you feel at first hits you …on the top level. And then it works its way down: Did I try too hard? Did I not try hard enough? Did I open myself up too deeply? Is what’s on the inside too ugly and broken for them to hold onto? Am I incapable of more? Is it even really about me at all? Because self-absorption is real and just as big of a flaw as all those other things. But after the endless carving and reshaping of the wound, it’s always sneakily reduced to:
And this is when rejection stabs its deepest blade into you yet – when you’re left to wonder, similarly to abandonment, if there was any chance at all for you to somehow, someway avoid the collision? But you wake in the dead of night, and there arrives this empirical knowing, this whisper on the stilled air of blackness that utters a lone word: ‘no.’ There was never a chance in hell you’d stop and you damn well know why. And you’re okay with that. With certain cases, not all mind you.
Or going beyond that, perhaps it comes down to one infinite truth: it’s merely a cosmic pull that will have no end, for it was never meant to have a beginning. And then, stepping further outside of feeling the feels, truly, who are we to know any single answer to any justifiable question?
Yet on and on we go, on and on we ask and wonder why now, why that time? And then we blame ourselves – or at least that’s how it works for me. I go too deep too fast and the fall is both beautiful and tragic. A mess of flames and tears and my soul, baring another scar that let’s me know that yes, I am so very very human.
But in the grand scheme, I know I am absolutely nothing. I am a speck of stardust floating on a larger speck of stardust, surrounded by an infinity I will never, ever comprehend.
So I take the hits, I ask the questions despite knowing I shouldn’t, I grieve, I get sad, I long and ache and pray and cry and breathe and then? I hope. I hope and hope and hope. Hope that it wasn’t any of the superficial bullshit I mentioned earlier on. That I didn’t do irreparable harm. That I didn’t create tidal waves out of calm seas. That I didn’t hurt anyone. That the hurt I feel when this comes on the wind like the call of a siren is a beautiful thing, and that it was meant to be mine. Hope that it’s not…