True story. I asked Tina Comeau to dance with me while Love Bites by Def Leppard played at the 7th grade dance. She said no. She said no because I never asked her to dance when we were in the 4th grade together. Tina and I had gone to school in Amesbury together, and then I moved, and then two years later she obviously convinced her parents to move to Haverhill to chase after me. Anyways, back to the story, her reasoning was fine and logical. Except we didn't have dances in the 4th grade. SO there is no way i could have asked her to dance.
This was just one in a long line of rejections I suffered early in my life with girls due to their not making any sense and me taking the rejection harder than I should.
Recently, I decided I wasn't going to be obsessed with the rejections of my youth any longer because it had gotten to a point where it intertwined throughout my life where starting and finishing things in general have become a gargantuan task. It started with my recent graduation, that for whatever reason, I have had as a monkey on my back for many years. I think it stems from not knowing what comes next after such a huge achievement being finished. But part of it also seems to be the inability to finish because not finishing in some way is better than the rejection felt by failing at something.
My second stint at school recently was much more streamline and easy than I remember the nightmare of my first stint. My first stint seemed a constant stressful game of procrastination and last minute papers tat didn't get passed in because they just weren't good enough. Rejection reared it's ugly head. This was compounded by a massive meltdown on my part due to a massive downfall and rejection of a relationship at the end of that first stint that seemed to all funnel the perfect storm of one of the lowest parts of my life. Depression followed, with the inability to get out of bed for a couple of months.
Then I told my self to stop it. And slowly but surely I've been building myself back up ever since.
I guess I at some point, beyond my immediate academic pursuits, like many others, would like to fancy myself a writer, a wordsmith if you would.
But until recently, I have never be able to get beyond conception of the ideas beyond my head. I say recently, because some of the great scholars at UMass-Boston actually helped me to bust through that fear of rejection just a little bit. The greatest thing a professor can say to a student who wants to write is "This is not up to your usual high standard of writing." Another thing, as said to my sibling, "Your parents read to you as children. It's how they turned out two fine writers."
So I want to teach. I feel an affinity for it and think I can help others realize their potential.
But I also want to write. For myself more than anybody else. But, the ego in me does say, for other people too. Because the greatest compliment in the world is people embracing what you've spent a long time sweating and slaving over, putting these words together in their oh so important and relevant order.
Great novelist and comic book scene setter Greg Rucka once said in a seminar I went to that, and I'm paraphrasing here, to become a good writer you have to write. Everyday. It doesn't matter what it is, if it's good or bad or indifferent. You have to write.
I guess the idea of rejection has kept me at times from doing this. But I'm sick of rejection.
That's not accurate. I'm tired of being scared.
The last few months I went through this whole thing were being afraid and not myself cost me a lot, whether it was my fault or not. More and more I think it wasn't my fault and fear and rejection were just and excuse for me to justify how things were.
The rejection, as it was, had nothing to do with me. Most of the rejection I self-harbor in my life in actuality has nothing to do with me.
A friend of mine in high school always had these girlfriends and I could never understand why or how. And one day I realized he was fearless. That was his key.
As it needs to be ours.
So in life, rejection is just an excuse. We all need to push it aside and no longer let it define who we are, but rather redefine it as any number of negative and needless things in our lives...it's just an excuse.
Live life. Do what you want to do. If you see something, try to reach for it. If you miss, you get other chances at bat.
Even Ted Williams struck out once in a while. But he still got back up to the plate.