I’m hitting my late twenties hard this last month. Feeling an existential crisis, I did what any pop queen would: shaved my head and grew a mustache. I had the excuse of Movember behind the face fur, but really I just wanted to see how it looked amidst emotional turmoil.
Not one to air the particulars of my dirty laundry, let’s suffice it to an age-old story: I developed a seemingly more-than-friendship with a guy whom I admired deeply, mistook vibes and cues, and turned it into a romance that never was. I’m an expert at this, I can assure you, as this is not the first time I found myself in the Friend Zone™.
At this point, you’d think I’d know when to pull the ‘chute and descend to safety in my rejection seat, but I keep going. I’ve learned an interesting thing about rejection, though. It hurts. But it can hurt a lot less if you’re direct and clear. “I’m not interested in you” stings, but it’s blunt and clear; there’s no loose end, versus, “I don’t know what to say,” which says it all. The delivery of rejection precludes being “the nice guy.” Perceptions will change; very simply, you cannot have your cake and eat it, too.
And then there’s the behind the scenes of it all. At some point, rejection after rejection, I have to believe that it is me, that there is something about me not palatable to those whom I’ve admired. The soul-searching questions arise like “Why am I not viable?” and itching comparisons come to light— what exactly am I missing that the coupled or courting are doing? I guess I’m a FOMO homo.
Yes, this sounds awfully pitiful. But this is where the work comes in.
I’m a longtime fan of Brené Brown and her lessons of vulnerability, which I’ve heeded. I have been honest and open, vulnerable to share and communicate my feelings clearly and effectively. All that said, however, it wasn’t enough. It was a valiant effort, but it didn’t result in the romantic splendor that I craved. There is no formulaic answer to this problem, and it certainly won’t be solved overnight— when there’s no spark for a flame, nothing catches on fire.
I’m a strong, independent woman who don’t need no man. But seriously, behind the humor, I’m working on myself diligently to be the best that I can be for myself and no one else. And that is attractive.
Soundtrack: Son – Sleeping At Last