He was a tall goofy drink of water. He had hair that looked like it belonged on a Ken doll and a face that could grace the cover of Tiger Beat. I silently giggled while I eavesdropped in on a three-way conversation where he admitted to my best friend he had a crush on me too. He was a grade above me and completely out of my league. Without hesitation, I ended a 8 month “relationship” with my lowly 7th grade boyfriend and began going steady with the closest thing to Jonathan Taylor Thomas that Hudson had ever seen.
Our courtship spanned across a whopping five weeks. We lasted through a double date to the movies, a dozen non-french kisses, an exchange of Christmas presents and one awkward photo following a chorus concert. Everything ended the exact same way it began – me eavesdropping in on a three-way conversation with my best friend. As silly and insignificant as it seems looking back, it was my first bittersweet taste of rejection.
He wasn’t the last boy to reject me and compared to others, he merely cracked my heart instead of breaking it. In retrospect, it wasn’t actually him that left me feeling bruised but rather the act of rejecting my sweet southern self. I can’t claim to only be the victim. I’ve certainly done my share of rejecting. For a better part of my dating career I was a man-eater. I used and abused guys like they were toys and would replace them once I felt they were broken. I was never comfortable with wearing the girlfriend title. I was committed to not being committed. I’ve literally been referred to as a devil woman. It’s okay – my past behavior warrants the name-calling. Considering 99% of my so-called exes are now married, I’d say the rejection, whether given or taken, was worth it. I don’t know the status of one anti-Facebook gent. If he still doesn’t have a Facebook profile, college degree, real job or driver’s license, I’d say he’s single. Seriously, what was I thinking?
The act of rejection continues to occur past relationships. For me, it comes now in the form of hearing “We’ve decided to hire another planner.” I could easily sink back into the same emotions just as I did when I heard “It’s not you, it’s me.” The truth is, sifting through the whys and hows as many times as humanly possible will still never change the outcome. There is something revealing through the beauty of rejection that challenges me to do more and be more. Not so much for those that rejected me but for those that accepted little ole’ me. It encourages me to be a better planner and friend to prove they made the right decision.
Just because we get rejected by a job, a client, a college, a friend, an opportunity or lover doesn’t mean we aren’t right for another one down the road. If the sum of rejections I’ve endured so far equates to the life I’m living now, it was worth it. And next time I don’t make the cut to be someone’s wedding planner, I’ll remind myself that it only means I’m making room for someone else. If they are anything like the lovelies I’m working with now, I’ll continue to be one blessed chick. Despite the harassment I endured each time someone saw my reading materials, perhaps that shelf of “You’ve Been Dumped” self-help books I hoarded in 2005 really worked.