Rejection, that insistent enemy, follows me around like a squeaky shoe. Sean and I went on one blind date, and when I texted him, he had erased my number.
“I don’t think it’s going to work out. Sorry. Good luck!”
Did I find him attractive? Not really. Did I even like him that much? Hard to say. Sean the person is not hard to lose, because I can’t even really remember what his face looked like (honestly, it’s a problem). Sean the idea is what follows me around, what haunts me, because small, big, kind, thoughtless—on some level it’s all the same.
“What? You don’t want me?” Depending on how the day is going, it can be followed with an “Are you kidding? I didn’t even want you anyway!”
Or a “What the hell is wrong with me?”
How do I handle it when things start to fall apart? When people say no? Because they certainly will—not just this week or this month, but next year, in five years, in twenty years.
It takes courage to even have ideas about what the future could look like. Because even with a scrubbed-clean life, one dressed in purple skinny jeans and paraded downtown, one with plucked eyebrows and a good attitude—even with that life, I will not be invincible.
What’s the key, then? Not to show your intimate insides to anybody or anything?
Every rejection whispers, “What might have been is not going to be.” Every no is a change of direction. But I have decided that my feet can pound, “He said no. She said no. They said no.” They can squeak and leave big, rubber scuffmarks on the floor. Or they can pound, “Not that time. Maybe this time.”
They can say, “Not that life. Maybe this life.”