It sucks ass to be rejected and I’ve struggled with it my entire life. I don’t know why but I am always watching to see if anyone is judging me and I hide to make sure that their words and thoughts cannot reach my fragile being. That is at least how I’ve lived the majority of my life. Comfortably shy. Content to watch but never play. Hand raised in the air, hoping and praying that I would be chosen for something.
I can remember being a little boy in Poland and playing soccer. We played soccer everywhere. Someone brought a ball, and we always managed to find a couple of trees to make a net. I don’t ever remember playing on a field but that didn’t matter.
I still remember how it felt to be picked last and I don’t ever remember not being picked last, but I got used to it. I played goalie a lot. That was the default position of the unwanted. It hurt of course but it was nice to get a chance to play at all. It felt good to be included. Beggars can’t be choosers they say, and you have to take whatever life gives you.
Looking back I misunderstand those kids. They were just kids. I took too much stock into what was happening and took it personally. They wanted to win badly, just like I did, and they picked me last, well, because I wasn’t all that good. If I was in their place I am not sure if I would have picked me last too. Everyone, big or small, wants to win, otherwise what is the point of playing.
The reason I’m sharing these thoughts today is because that the little boy who who took rejection so hard, so long ago, is still very much with me and hides when the opinion of other people is critical.
Yesterday, for example, I took some time to philosophize and share my thoughts on an interesting post about the relationship between fate and freedom. I didn’t really know them, but I wanted to add to the conversation. It was very nice to be human and we had a very good exchange going, but inevitably one of the last comments was “Just all nonsense”. That stung. I began to second guess myself and negotiate with my inner child again, wishing that I kept my mouth shut, but I’m glad I didn’t.
It’s not for them.
That’s the big breakthrough in my life. It’s not for them. It’s for me, and that’s fucking fantastic. You be you. I’ll be me. No need to be anything else.
I’ve grow really tired not doing things in my life because of my own hangups. I would imagine what other people would think or say, and I would base my response on their response. It isn’t easy to negotiate with your inner child, but I am living life in the open a little more.
It’s still uncomfortable when something I do or say is not for them, but I am on guard that it doesn’t stop me from saying and doing what needs saying and doing.
I hope you have a sit-down with your inner child as well. I hope you don’t project your hangups on other people and reflect them back on yourself.
Your life is not for them anyway. Their nonsense, makes perfect sense.
Cover photo generously provided by photographer Click and Boo via unsplash.com