I’m not quite sure how to tackle this blog entry…perhaps I should turn off the computer and walk away. I was advised by friends, however, that writing might help me get these feelings off my chest so I can let them go once and for all. And these are very caring and smart friends so I think I’ll take their advice. They also recommended burning or deleting my writing after completion, not posting it for the entire world to see, but I’ll make that decision when I’m finished. Their suggestion was just to go through the process, as an exercise, to release those hurt feelings. Just typing the phrase “hurt feelings” made me feel silly. What am I, a fourth grader? At my age I should be beyond letting others hurt my feelings, right? I’m not a wuss. I’m a strong, independent, educated, mature (most of the time) woman…how can it be possible for someone to hurt my feelings?
While going through this exercise, although I do want to purge these nagging thoughts from my mind, I also don’t want to come off as whiny, sniveling, or immature. I hope that’s not how it comes across. Maybe that will be the deciding factor in whether or not it gets deleted or posted.
Let me start by saying, I didn’t used to be the kind of person who took risks, or reached out to strangers, or put myself out there at all. I was shy, intimidated, and timid, afraid of rejection and tried to avoid ridicule at all costs. Somewhere along the line I grew out of that. Maybe it was when I was attending Berklee College of Music as a vocalist, where enduring rejection, ridicule, and criticism was part of the learning process. I didn’t exactly develop a thick skin, because believe me, it still hurts, but I’m more willing to risk my pride now that I’m older, because I had plenty of practice and I learned to laugh at myself.
It could be my job as an outreach coordinator. I’m forced to reach out to people and try to make connections, all the while risking rejection. I don’t take that personally, however, because it’s just part of the job. If it doesn’t work out, I move on and get over it because I have nothing personally invested. For the most part, I am successful, I make many good and meaningful connections. I’m told I’m very good at my job. This leads me to my current situation.
I have reached out, repeatedly, to a couple of people who are important to me. They don’t realize that they are important to me, or why. They are meaningful to me because they are part of a bigger picture, and I really want to make this connection. It’s hard to explain it here without giving too much away, and I really don’t want to tell it all. I’ll just say that by shutting me out they are leaving a gaping hole in this chapter of my life story. I can’t understand it, because it’s not like I’m trying to latch onto them, force myself into their lives, or become important to them. I’m just trying to reach out and make a connection, simple as that. I’m not untrustworthy, or unworthy for that matter. But that is how I feel when they shut the door on me. How much of your valuable time would it take to simply acknowledge me, extend the same common courtesy you would extend to a stranger on a plane or bus. It’s frustrating to me and frankly, its the silence that hurts the most.
I’m a decent person. I’m not mean-spirited, jealous, or an opportunist. I just want to make a connection with someone who means something to me. They are part of my life not by choice, but by circumstance. We are just common threads in a much larger cloth.
On days that I feel invincible, I like to think that it’s their loss, not mine. Go ahead, shut me out, but you’re missing out on knowing a great person who would like to share some common experiences with you. Screw you, basically. I don’t need you. But on other days when I’m not feeling quite so superhuman, internally I’m standing outside that door begging to be let in, feeling unworthy and inadequate.
I guess we never learn to fully accept rejection, no matter how old we get, or how practiced we are. It always hurts. We just learn to hide that hurt and smile through it. This experience has taught me something, though, so maybe it hasn’t been a total loss. I will never shut the door on someone who is making an honest, sincere attempt to reach out to me. I will give that person the benefit of the doubt, and at least listen to what they have to say before I decide if I want to continue to have any kind of relationship with them. Maybe that was a lesson I needed to learn and this is Karma’s way of making me learn it…if so, it sure is a hefty price to pay for a life lesson.
I’m not sure what kind of day today is…but, though it still makes me feel a little sad, I’m leaning more toward the screw you type.
If you’re reading this, it’s obvious what my decision was, and I made that decision because even if I come off sounding selfish and whiny, it might help someone else who is feeling inadequate or unworthy. Let’s say it together: “screw ‘em”.