the evolving lessons of rejection – learning to take responsibility for how i feel

everyday, i come to this page, uncertain of the shape my thoughts will take.

everyday, so many lessons; every morning, so many revelations.

i am tired, on multiple levels. i am navigating the waters of rejection, once again learning it’s depth, the feeling of it lapping against my skin, the fear of drowning in it.

rejection is an interesting experience, because it feels immensely personal and yet, when i really dig into it, i can see that the other person’s experience of me has little to do with me. and vice versa.

as someone practicing taking responsibility for how i feel (instead of falling into blaming, my historically preferred approach to pain), i am learning how to dissect my side of things and the ways in which i am hurting myself (or maybe simply the ways i am hurting).

for what seems like the thousandth time, i’m confronting the reality of my loneliness and boredom. along with the places these states takes me and the actions they tend to prompt from me.

i’m coming to terms with the ways i’ve infused my hopes and desires into my idea of this person. and also the ways in which i am not great at not getting my way.

as i’ve gotten older, i’ve gotten better, more skilled at not “barking up the wrong tree” — not pursuing someone who’s so clearly uninterested, unavailable, or both.

and yet there are still times when i just can’t help myself. when i feel captivated, intrigued by someone, and i have to have them, despite whatever they’d prefer.

i think this is the place i come to when i’ve been lonely for a good while, and avoidant of it. and instead of engaging with it head on, i become focused, even obsessed with the other person in the subconscious hope they’ll fix it for me. that i’ll be able to bypass feeling the hard feelings completely.

this rarely, if ever, pans out well.

it’s also a total objectification of the other person, turning them into a means to an end, instead of a highly complex and individualized human being with as many needs and desires as myself.

and then i villainize them, making them the object of my anger instead of truly grappling with my pain.

it’s a cycle i know well, intimately, really. it made up a lot of my 20s, and i’m setting the intention to not make it a pattern in my 30s.

but of course, this means the willingness to feel my loneliness, my deep, unmet desire for companionship. my fear of being alone.

i honestly don’t know how to grapple with hard feelings. i’ve spent so much of my life in avoidance of and distraction from them, honing the skill of intellectualizing my feelings instead of feeling them.

i’ve also found that trying to feel my feelings on demand to be a generally counterproductive experience. so oftentimes, i end up feeling them only once they’ve gotten so big, they’ve become a tidal wave that swallows me whole.

i took a somatics course this past fall/winter that could probably help me out with this — much like my experiences with yoga, i’ve found the body to be the entry point to hard, tangled emotions vs trying to think myself there.

because ultimately, feelings start in the body and then become stories we tell ourselves, often stories we’ve been telling ourselves for years, even decades. i don’t want to keep telling myself the same stories around rejection, ones that feed my insecurity, my blaming, my lacking.

i am learning the path of self-compassion, the willingness to hold my pain with tenderness and care in place of ridicule and shame. this transformation is not easy or simple (or even straightforward). i have a long history of using shame as a tool for change, and so learning how to grow and evolve without it has a learning curve.

the mantra i’ve found to be the most effective when i’m getting down on myself is: never a failure, always a lesson (a tattoo of Rihanna’s).

this is the best reminder i have (at the moment) that instead of beating myself up, i can learn and grow from what feels like mistakes.

it’s a very relieving perspective to have, very forgiving and understanding. it feels like the path of love. and it’s not a letting off the hook, it’s a transmutation process, turning the “bad” into something “good.”

well, i don’t think i have the capacity to keep writing, so i’m going to wish y’all a happy sunday and leave it here.

if anyone would like to share their own lessons with rejection, please do. collective wisdom is the most potent.

love y’all. stay strong and soft and tender and bold ❤ keep challenging the bullshit that’s been fed to us.

may we never forget our truest nature, as divine beings on their earth, interconnected, and interdependent. ❤ ❤ ❤

accountability, big & small

i’ve been thinking a lot about accountability recently.

the more i learn about organizing and social justice spaces, the more aware i become of how vital accountability is to be in right relationship with, well, anyone or anything.

i’ve recently had someone from *a past life* (the fuckboy mentioned in a previous post) reach out to me. to give more background: he was once a coworker and a friend. i developed feelings for him, shared them with him, and although he did not reciprocate, the real kicker was how he then proceeded to pretend like nothing had ever happened between us (including hooking up), and it was a complete and total mindfuck.

the rejection and what i guess we’d now call gaslighting was a lot to take in.

and there was a lot for me to account for on my side of things. such as how i was able to “fall” for someone who was not offering me even close to enough. and how what those realizations told me about where i was at in life during that period (which was very lonely and desperate b/c of it).

god, and then there was another iteration of this whole mess that took place during the pandemic (a year and a half after the initial drama), which led to me cutting him out 4real cause i finally just couldn’t (why i hadn’t already done it, idk…)

that wound from 3 1/2 years ago is still fresh in my body somewhere, waiting to be seen, felt acknowledged…

and it’s also its own flavor of confusing to feel deeply hurt while also being totally invalidated in your pain.

pulling my classic “cool girl” routine, i went along with the idea that everything was “normal” and “totally chill,” because otherwise i’d have to admit hurt feelings to someone who had already proven untrustworthy with my vulnerability. and double rejection at that time would’ve exploded my self-confidence into tiny, unrecognizable pieces.

so, anyway, it was a fucking time. oh, and he was my boss for part of this time period.

(lol i’m loving putting this guy on blast. i’m worried that some people will be like: he doesn’t sound that bad, you’re just overreacting. but i’m like, *the bitches who get it will get it.* he’s such a fucking fuckboy)

anyways, his “thinking bout you” text after months upon months of silence (and me blocking him on whatsapp (like come on, bro…)) was so basic in it assumption that after enough time, we’d suddenly be okay again.

and you know what, we’re not. and not b/c i can’t “get over” my past hurt but b/c he’s never had to fucking answer to any of his wrongdoings — the ways in which he betrayed our “friendship” that he claimed to care about.

just nah son, very uncool.

an open letter to whoever needs to hear it: look, if you don’t want to have to answer to shady behavior you committed towards someone in the past, okay, whatever, me either. but don’t try and pick up that relationship as though nothing happened and plan on just never addressing it and hoping it never comes up. like come on, that’s insulting…

i’ve also been thinking about accountability in relation to the vaccine and the ways in which i’m creating physical and emotional boundaries with people in my life who are still unwilling to get vaccinated (how i relate to people who are unvaccinated functions on a spectrum but at this point, whoever you are, my motivation to keep distance is protect myself and others (and to not lose my shit on you))

this is not about shaming people, it’s about fear. i now know people who have died from this virus (including young people). and i want to avoid being part of potentially hurting someone as much as i can.

so yes, people can choose to not get vaccinated. but they can then also be held accountable to the ways their decision affects their community. b/c idk if you’ve heard but we’re in a fucking pandemic.

and to add a layer of nuance to the conversation, i feel very conflicted over people losing their jobs, especially working class people, over not getting vaccinated… i don’t know how we’re going to do this, y’all…

but the people i’m especially frustrated by carry a solid amount of privilege and are acting rather recklessly, and those are the people i am struggling to find compassion for.

so here we are, 4 months and some change from 2022. y’all ready or what? cause honestly it still feels like 2020 over here…

❤ ❤ ❤