I have nice hair. Decent legs. I’m weirdly proud of my shoulders and think my smile is pretty genuine and maybe even encourages other people to smile.
I also think I have a pretty nice heart. I mean, I’m nice. I say thank you to the streetcar driver and apologize when my grocery bag hits the person I’m hurrying past. I call my friends when they’re sad and occasionally send flowers and think that when people are being assholes it means they’re really sad and broken and I try to let that outweigh how much I hate them in that moment. (I mean, not always. Once this lady yelled at me for standing in the wrong spot in line and I was very rude back and it was extremely liberating. And sometimes I prefer feeling liberated over feeling like a good person. And I think that’s okay too.)
So okay – looks are fine. Heart is gold. Life in general?
As a whole, my life has been pretty golden too. A string of beautiful moments and life-changing experiences. I’ve chased a lot of dreams and a lot of drinks. I’ve fallen in love with people and work and that jacket that I didn’t buy and will forever wish that I had. I’ve travelled to wonderful places with wonderful people, spending € 95 on two pitchers of sangria which is perhaps one of the poorer decisions I’ve made in life but it happened and it was funny after the fact.
Overall, my life has been something I feel overwhelmingly proud of.
However, I have yet to find someone who feels as impressed by these things as I do. My neat little shoulders and happy heart and lovely life have all appeared quite insignificant to the majority of the male population.
I’m hot, single & ready to die alone.
I mean, I’m obviously kidding. I’m 26 and young and free and literally in zero rush to settle down. I don’t actually know if I even could yet. But regardless of how settled and happy you feel, it can still be a tough pill to swallow when you watch your entire Facebook feed become overrun with engagement rings and baby photo shoots and new condos while you’re naked on your bed, holding a beer and watching Friends reruns and laughing at a joke you’ve heard 1500 times.
I think every twenty-something faces rejection in a multitude of forms at a multitude of times. If you don’t get that job you wanted or your skin is breaking out; if your apartment application didn’t go through or you failed your audition or missed out on that promo you wanted. But all of these things can be chalked up to some sort of reason. Maybe you weren’t right for the job. You haven’t been drinking enough water. That landlord ended up renting to her friend’s daughter. Whatever. True or not, it’s easy to find a reason for these things and move on.
But when that guy doesn’t call or text, it’s the one form of rejection that makes you feel like you have fundamentally failed as a person. It’s like, he literally doesn’t like who I am. And that feeling fucking sucks.
Of course, it doesn’t always matter and we go through our fair share of “Fuck-it-I’m-so-fucking-cool-and-don’t-need-anyone” moments. We read and write and forget why anyone ever had power over our feelings in the first place. But then it’s bound to happen again, and you go back to feeling like you as a human being are flawed and useless. You can do everything right and they still don’t think you’re worth putting time into.
It’s a shitty feeling.
But I think, perhaps, at the end of the day, it’s not about getting rejected by people. It’s not about not being good enough and watching everyone else advance while you stay naked with your beer and Friends rerun. In every situation we find ourselves getting rejected, it simply means that isn’t where we’re supposed to be right now and something better is on its way.
No one is dying alone; we’re simply being thrown the opportunity to keep living our wonderful lives until we find the right job or apartment or person to share it with.