Updated: May 23
The Rejection Season
Without a doubt, Spring is the season of rejection. This probably isn't a fact. But it should be.
(a quick disclaimer: I'm writing this in procrastination of my 13-page research paper I have due 1 day).
ACT test results. SAT tests. The Common App. Summer subleases. Summer internship applications. Job applications. Prom. Greek formals. Cancelled plans. Busy friends.
This one is going to seem beyond ridiculous. But in the moment, it didn't feel that way. And it still doesn't feel that way sometimes...
I remember my senior prom. I had an amazing, consistent, loving boyfriend, solid friends, a healthy mind, a gorgeous dress, even more gorgeous makeup, and a fresh recolor from the hair salon.
On the outside, I was a glorified senior going to her last prom.
On the inside, I was an anxious senior who knew she had no group to go with, so her center-of-attention-extrovert-extraordinaire of a boyfriend was going to have to pull himself together for a dinner date. (Between you and me, I just wanted to walk the Grand March and leave).
What do they say about anxiety? It often creates itself. That is exactly what happened. A huge group from my high school stood outside a country club only 2 city blocks from my house.
My heart turned to stone. My eyes fixated on the colorful dresses in a frozen glare. My stomach was turning over itself in a sickening flip-flop rhythm.
What you just read is the VERY real and VERY physical definition of rejection. Maybe you recognized it. Maybe you recognize it now that I named it.
It was impossible not to recognize the rejection from the passenger seat of a massive Suburban. The hurt was numbing. The exclusion was hardening. It's heartbreaking when you don't feel like you belong.
"It's heartbreaking when you don't feel like you belong."
Coping with Rejection
Coping with rejection is so, so hard. Especially when it's right outside of your house. I will admit, the words "you-are-not-welcome-here" ran through my ears a couple times. The sight of my fellow classmates walking down the street I lived on because it was the closest parking was the repeat button on this bitter song I was singing in my mind.
That's when I realized that something had to change.
It's not healthy to think like that. In fact, it does more harm than good. Turning a rejection into a trespassing violation only allows bitterness to root deeper into your heart. Something had to change in order for my bitterness to subside. Ruminating on rejection definitely wasn't helping.
Here were the healthy thoughts that prevented the rejection from poisoning my prom:
"This is your last dance with someone you love dearly. This night is tender, sacred, and special. Nothing, not even exclusion, can change this fact."
"The rejection doesn't matter. The things you value, the people you value, and your value, are no less valuable because of it."
"This was a hiccup in the symphony of the night. Now, enjoy the hallelujah."
After I manifested those 3 simple truths, there wasn't even a need for asserting my identity. Insecurity and rejection were far from me now. Finally, I was able to enjoy the Grand March.
And you are, too. Your Grand March is coming. Do not let the hiccups of the prelude ruin the melody of the symphony.
Happy prom season <3 I can't wait to see you win.
All the Peace,