This whole adulting thing continues to baffle me sometimes (please say I'm not the only one who feels this way!). Recently, my mind has been going back and forth between circumstances and experiences from my past. And it's been quite the journey as I learn from, attempt to grow from, and step forward from those seasons.
I've always been afraid of rejection. I didn't apply to top-notch universities because I was fearful of rejection. I don't respond back to guys on online dating profiles because I'm afraid they'll reject me when they meet me. I haven't written about certain topics here because I'm afraid people will see the real me.
Rejection stings. Part of me wishes that someone had told me that growing up, but I'm not sure if that would have propelled me forward to try new things, or if it would have left me digging a deeper hole to hide from the "what if's."
Last year, I faced one of my biggest rejections--in the form of dating. Looking back, I know that part of me was scared of being rejected in the first place. So fear ruled in my heart and I did whatever I could to make myself be the girl that a guy would want. And in the process, I lost a bit of myself. I compromised myself for acceptance and I now realize it's something I've done quite a few other times, too.
I've kept silent when I should have spoken up. I declined opportunities simply because I worried what others would think of me if I said yes. I let people take advantage of me simply because I wanted to be seen as popular or cool.
People--strangers even--can be powerful, right? But to be honest, that's not how I want to live my life. I know I'm missing out on experiences and adventures simply because I'm afraid of hearing "no." And I know that in the process, I'm also not giving people the chance to tell me "yes" either.
In the end, I don't want my life to be marked or defined by rejection. It hurts, but it's the growth and the life that comes after the door closes that I want to remember. I want to be the one who looks at rejection with acceptance and then steps forward to open the next door.
Which, for me, means I need to stop living on the doorstep of that closed door. I'm guilty of being the puppy on the doorstep begging to come back in. But that door is closed and if I want to grow and live and thrive, I need to take that first step forward. One step at a time.