Anxiety can often inflict several emotions on someone. My two personal favorites are: Fear and Guilt. They make me feel so warm and cuddly inside (read: cold and vomity). Well, my anxiety seems to exasperate a common problem that many people seem to have: Rejection. I really don’t like it. Rejection and I? We ain’t friends.
Why don’t I like rejection? Because I am a perfectionist. In my high school years, I was a tad ludicrous (no, I was not the rapper, but I can throw down with the best… in my head). I took more involved electives that I knew would give me more homework because I thought it would be better for my future and more character building. It still makes me angry that I didn’t take Art. Ugh, I could be an artist right now and draw out all my negative emotions. I also was a health nut, worked out all the time, tried to eat healthy (never once ate a soft pretzel at lunch. Never.) took fish oil and a spoonful of flax seed every day and tried to take apple cider vinegar regularly. I made varsity volleyball as a sophomore and spent my summers running (and occasionally playing racquetball with my sister even though we had no idea what we were doing and I’m pretty sure I got a concussion once). Anyway, my point is- I took it to an extreme in high school. Yeah, I was lazy and got some bad grades once in a while, but if I failed it hit me incredibly hard (see “not making the elite choir and crying in a bathroom for hours because I couldn’t face rejection” as a reference).
Well, once I got to college I couldn’t take it anymore, some new medications were playing with my brain. I developed a new course of action: AKA what I have dubbed as “the lazy perfectionist”. I wouldn’t try at anything. If I couldn’t do it perfectly I wouldn’t do it at all. Thus, I had a less than stellar gpa in college, I hardly worked out and watched what I ate – oh hey freshman 15! – and building relationships with people, something I always took very seriously, was at the bottom of my to-do list. Not only that, but I couldn’t bear the thought of letting people down so I took on a persona of a disorganized individual who has no idea what is going on.
What does this have to do with anything? I will tell you, my friends. As those who have read this blog in the past may have realized, I haven’t posted in a while. Why? Because I was anticipating rejection. You see, I sent some blog posts into a couple websites to see if I could get them posted. And I have been sitting here waiting for the rejection to come. And while I waited for the rejection, writing seemed like the last thing I could do. I thought about getting rid of the blog in my preparation for rejection. I thought about eating my feelings in preparation for rejection. I thought about crying in my preparation for rejection. And of course, I thought about vomiting in my preparation for rejection. Well, yesterday I got my first rejection email. I knew it was coming but I was still sad and heartbroken and waited several hours to tell my Marine. And then I talked to my sister Catie, who likes to write. She too has tried getting published and has felt the sting of rejection letters.
(This is my sister whom I lovingly refer to as my Kitty Cat, she’s pretty good and stuff)
And she said something brilliant (I know, I was shocked too… kidding, Catie! Looooove you!)
You go ahead and be sad. I’ve cried over it before. Now I’ve just been hardened to it after what feels like hundreds of rejections. It’s not resilient, it’s forming thick scars after being whipped many times. You go ahead and hurt, just try hard to remember that it’s not a reflection of you or your abilities. (Which will be hard, I know) but it really isn’t. And don’t let it stop you from what you want to do. Please don’t.
We then continued on and bashed editors and publishers and stuff because that’s just what sisters do.
(Sisters… Tralalalala Sisters…. we love each other and stuff… sisters)
Rejection is such a terrifying part of being a human. I’m a wife and I fear rejection from my husband, even though cognitively I know that my husband loves me and is committed to me completely. I’m a mommy and I fear that my daughter will reject me, even though that goes against the way God created our bond. I’m a human and I fear rejection from everything else that matters. But what I need to remember is this: the One who matters most will never reject me and continually invites me into His arms over and over again, even when I may reject Him. God. He will always hold me in His arms through my many earthly rejections. And with that knowledge in hand, I will get back into the boat and keep rowing into the storm of rejection until I find that undiscovered piece of land. Take that, editor who rejected me. You haven’t heard the last of me.