Rejection is a funny thing.
They say it's important to put yourself out there, wear your heart on your sleeve, show your vulnerability, open yourself up to rejection. Let them say no, let them shun you, because every time it makes you that little bit stronger.
After all, you are not unemployable, unlovable, unpublishable or unaccepted: This is just circumstance and has nothing to do with your own essence as the ultimate employee, artist, creative, partner, friend or lover.
Which is all well and good, on principle, when you look over the tales of rejection slips papering the wall of a prize-winning author, of the man who asked the lady out seventeen times before the said yes, of the CEO fired from McDonalds: but then comes the humanity.
At the end of the day, rejection may be good for you, but it's just not that much fun.
First, you have to feel the crack.
You have to taste that sensation of your stomach dropping to your knees, your mouth drying up, and that strange little squeak of your ego reminding you that she's still here, still human.
You can do all the work, focus on your own self-worth, know that it can't be defined by anybody else, that rejection is someone else's shit not yours (though of course it's good to take positive feedback into account!), but you'll still get that little twinge.
Ugh. Being human! So uncomfortable!
Doing something different than you've ever done before. Giving up the safety of the job, the friend group, the family, the bad relationship to experience rejection daily with resumes, applications, proposals, text messages, dating apps - the opportunities are endless, if only you choose.
But the best thing about that twinge?
It means you're alive.
It means you still have that fire inside which says you do think you're worth more than that which rejects you. It means that this rejection won't get you down but just inspire you to do more, and more, and try again and again until you feel the soul satisfaction of doing exactly what you're meant to do. What you came here to do in the first place, what inspired you to leave the comfort zone because you knew there was so much more than this.
So I'm going to praise vulnerability, for all her scariness, but I'm also going to admit that we're all still human, and it doesn't get any easier. It still hurts, every damn time.
But we get stronger.
And I'm pretty sure the benefits do get greater.
Because as we crack and split apart, something super strong rises up to mend that gap in its place: It's shattering the flimsy material to weave a stronger fabric with all the loose threads.