Dear Rejection,

Dear Rejection,

Thank you for visiting me this week. I’m sorry I didn’t greet you kindly when you first arrived. I had been busy making other plans, expecting great things, and then there you were.

Thank you for reminding me of my family and friends, their love and presence as I became absorbed in trying to entertain you. They groaned at my self-pity, sat quietly with me as I grieved a little over a future that swung shut a little. Even the dogs noticed my sadness at your arrival. Warm eyes and muzzles, a rump plopped solidly on me as I struggled valiantly under the covers to stay in bed and feel sorry for myself. My companions would not let me slump: there were walks to be had and games to be played, and a slow steady stroke of the fur that led me to be present.

Thank you for reminding me of my privilege, Rejection. Although you visit everyone, you come to see me rarely, and you never stay long. Yet, each time I am surprised and insulted that I have failed or lacked or not been chosen. As if I didn’t have more than I need, as if I was above failure and you. I treat you as a mugger and murderer as if my life were really in danger. Yes, you break things when you visit, but you have never broken me.

But mostly, thank you for reminding me that I had been waiting on others’ approval, when I should have been busy being myself. I had been scanning the horizon for so long for someone to come and say I was ok that I’d forgotten my eyes were mine. I’d strained my vision filling out so many applications, reading for signs, until it seemed that I was just a hungry gaze waiting for some email or letter or message on social media would what—make me solid?

The gift you always bring instead, ultimately, is resilience. You connect me with my humanity and my strength, urge me on to new creativity and challenge me to settle into myself. You remind me that I am already a wonder. I hope I will remember this for a while.

Even though you are already packing to leave I know you will be back. You have so many of my neighbors to visit each day, and I wish I could pin this letter to your lapel for them to read, with an note on the envelope that says “Please Welcome Rejection, They Want To Remind You.” Maybe if we did that we could take up better residence in ourselves and the world.

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