I have been facing a lot of rejection lately. I think this has to do with the fact that as I’m now creeping into the late stages of adolescence, I’m constantly pressured to grow up, get out, try new things and accept challenges– all of which, I think are necessary parts of growing. Still at times, it can all feel to be too much, overwhelming to the point where even the sturdiest of individuals can find themselves confused, lonely, dejected, and lost.
I’ve been really trying to put myself out there, especially in the past few years. I do the best I can with making my way around my anxiety of new places, and confronting challenges by the dozens. Just last year I tried out for the BC Misfit Ultimate team. I applied for the International Baccalaureate program. Both of which I was denied entry to. Don’t get me wrong, things worked out in a way, I think. The mangled knots that were created, once I had stopped trying to untangle them on my own, loosened eventually. I hold no grudges against these rejections and I’m satisfied with how I managed the outcomes. Yet the constant declinations after all my relentless efforts and build up of optimism have definitely caused my confidence to erode over time.
I applied for several jobs, all of which have ended with the dreaded “We thank you for your application, but unfortunately…”. The sinking feeling that commences just from first glance crushes me, crumples me; rejection in all its forms causes me to feel like scrap, and I’m finding it harder to motivate myself to press on. But some rejections may not be so verbal, so direct, and I think these ones are the most detrimental. A boy whom I have had feelings for inadvertently shot me down. My own mind has betrayed me, catapulting me into a relapse of depression. My friends can’t seem to make time for me in their day any more, as though I’m an odd shape that can’t be fixed properly into their schedule. All these I can reason with to salvage my amour-propre: “He just doesn’t like me, he doesn’t have to. I have a mental illness, it’s not me it’s not me. Your friends are busy, they’re not leaving you.” And these are rational, and I believe these to be true, but it doesn’t stop my stomach from sinking, my head from spiralling into endless negativity, that it doesn’t still add weight to my already beaten and burdened ego. These rejections manage to stain my skin, and I carry this around, even if not always consciously. I think it shows whenever I aim for new achievements. Even when I attempt to start on a clean slate, my mind finds ways to wander to the past, to the awful feelings of dejection, and the fleeting glimpses of hope.
I uncontrollably sob after each rejection. Initially, I cry because of the direct cause, the obvious one. But then my mind links this one failure to all the ones in the past, like weights on a bar suddenly gaining mass, anchoring me lower and lower… And I’m plummeting into a deeper rut each time. I feel so awful because I can’t help but think that maybe I am worthless, inadequate, insufficient in all areas, unwanted. Maybe I am. And it is this what makes me cry. I almost let myself believe this, but I do not because it is simply in my nature to not relent. I repress and endure.
Repress and endure.
Repress and endure.
This is not the healthiest strategy, but this is what I have for now.
I’m going to go around tomorrow with a stack of my résumés and hopefully land a job.
Please wish me luck.