Me at Disneyland last year, just after Mister 5's infamous half-day tantrum.
Okay, so here’s the deal.
Last week I found out (SQUEE!) that I got shortlisted for the Moosehead Awards at Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Needless to say, I was suitably stoked, but tried to side-coach myself to prepare for the likelihood that that would be it.
And so I did so, by focusing on the positives of NOT making it through. You know, with little coaching tips like :
“Well Jen, next year’s schedule is already looking rather ridiculous…” (with THREE overseas trips if everything pans out the way I hope it to);
“At least you applied! At least you tried!” (Paging Doctor Seuss); and
“Another month away from Brissie and trying to manage the kids and keep your marriage in tact would make things pretty tricky!”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I didn’t want to get through – you can bet your bottom toddler I did – but I was just trying to prep. I even kept the shortlisting news very much to myself, cos I didn’t want to look silly if it turned out I didn’t get it after all.
Then of course, a few days later, the news came…
Believe me, the irony of me not wanting to feel stupid in case I didn’t make the cut, only to now be spilling out my very vulnerable guts on feeling stupid about not making the cut, is not lost on me.
But you know, I’m a writer. Turns out I have to write these things. It’s how I deal.
The truth is, all my valiant “prepare yourself for the worst!” efforts aside, when the call finally came through: I was pretty sad. Not for long, not tragically downtrodden, not lying in the middle of the traintracks, sobbing incontrollably into my bottle of moonshine, but you know. Sad.
And then I was annoyed at myself for even feeling sad. And then I was frustrated with myself for even being annoyed at myself for being sad. Next thing you know, there I am: Sybil.
Sad Me: “I have a right to be sad!”
Annoyed Me: “Well I have a right to be annoyed!”
Frustrated Me: “Hello? Over here? Frustrated!”
Rational Me: “JUST ACCEPT THAT YOU’RE FRUSTRATED COS YOU’RE ANNOYED COS YOU’RE SAD AND BE DONE WITH IT!”
Sad Me: “Oh you. You’ve just made me sad.”
Then of course, my default Pollyanna chimes in:
Pollyanna Me: “You know, it’s really probably for the best. I know you don’t feel it now, but I’m sure you’re gonna look back on this and realise it was actually a good thing to miss out. Look, the sun is shining! Fa la la la la!”
Annoyed Me: “Anybody gotta baseball bat?”
Anyhoo, a few days later and I’m really feeling cool about it. No really.
But it has gotten me thinking about rejection and why – even if we’re bracing ourselves for it – it still sucks buttocks.
It brought to mind specifically a couple of stories…
Many moons ago at university, I went out with this guy, let’s call him “T-Rex”, who in all honesty, I was never really all that into. Don’t get me wrong, he was a really lovely, sweet, smart and attractive guy, but until the moment he asked me out, I had never even thought of him in that way. The spark just wasn’t there. A rather blunt friend of mine at the time even said to me “He’s way too boring for you!” Anyway, point is, when I finally agreed, it was really more of a “Well, okay, let’s give it a go!” kinda deal.
A few weeks later, he broke up with me. Very nicely. Very amicably. Very mutually.
Yet, when he walked away, I shocked myself by crying.
What I realised soon-after was that I hadn’t been crying “I’ve lost him!” but “What do you mean, you don’t want me?!”
And the other tale…
A friend of mine recently went on a blind date with a guy she just wasn’t feeling it with. So when he emailed her soonafter asking for date #2, she shot back a suitably polite “thanks, but no thanks” message.
To which he shot back with: “Just so you know, I’m not interested either.”
Care to share your own woeful (or even not-so-woeful!) tales of rejection? How do you deal? I’d love to hear: misery loves company and so do I!