My Favorite Rejection

My favorite rejection happened one day in winter.

It was for a good job that I badly wanted. I’d hung my hopes and a chunk of my future on it. But on a January afternoon when the sun was already setting, I got a two-line email saying, in so many well-worded words, that I would not be getting this good job.

At the time, it wasn’t my favorite rejection. I felt like a flat tire. And I rolled through the rest of that January day with all the ease of one.

But then, in slow and small degrees over a few more January days, I noticed something. It was so big, so obvious, that it would be easy to miss: I was still standing. Still moving my limbs, still eating soup at lunch, still satisfied when I finished a crossword, still walking with a head thinking and a heart beating.

I’d been nicked by rejection, no denying that. But I hadn’t been felled by it.

And when I realized that rejection wouldn’t topple me, it was like the whole world opened up. Because I wasn’t so limited by fear.

Which was when it became my favorite rejection. Since, really, it was more about freedom. Not from flat tires or pain. But the freedom to move and reach and live without so much fear of rejection. Because while rejection may slow us down, it isn’t enough to bring us down.

Our limbs will still move. There will be soup at lunch and satisfaction with crosswords. And we’ll walk with a head thinking and heart beating out into the whole world opening up for us.

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