It’s the worst when you allow yourself to get excited. You begin to plan a future wrapped around this one hope. It’s really happening! And then, someone takes a furry turd and smears it on your corduroys. And dammit, they’re the pants you’ve been breaking in around the house; you’ve finally got them molded to your body, not too clingy, not to crotchety, a faded fall perfection of pant. Shat on. You don’t bother cleaning it. You just sit there, looking down at your feces thighs, before finally piping out, "Of course."
When you get that disappointed, you kinda get all quiet, and sit with it, wait for it to settle in, you don’t want to say it aloud. You feel a little dead inside, like everything just turned dull and muted. Your stomach hurts; you feel heavier. You have to go to the bathroom, but you just sit there. You, you’re not even hungry. You want to tell your parents, you want to be comforted, to crawl back to the safest place you’ve known and to camp out there, even if it’s an unhealthy address. You just want to park it there for a while, to lick your wounds. You get the ‘rhea.
Small tasks take too much energy—what’s the point? What follows is the zombie bunny mouth bum stage. Pajamas, sweat shorts that were stained with bleach, a tee-shirt where you chewed the collar, putting it in your mouth all the time to hide your double chin—not that anyone’s looking—it’s just your version of baggy clothes for your face. You could braid your leg hair, and it gets so bad that you even watch re-runs of reality TV. Hair frizzed, too many empty 100-calorie yogurts on the floor. You’re bummed, and you need something to get you out of your funk, something to look forward to again.
Risk is scary because of this. But we all know in the end, we can’t have anything really great unless we put ourselves out there again, work harder, move forward, and keep going. It’s an opportunity. It’ll open a different door for us, or make us turn our head in a different direction, revealing new, revealing what we’d been neglecting or missing. Rejection forces us to confront our lives and our choices, and gives us a chance to focus on something bigger, better. The whole point in all of it? So we remember to wash our pants. And yeah, to grow, to learn, to get more enjoyment out of life and love.
The fact is, retreating, taking time to lick your wounds and take cover for a while is just part of the process. You have to give yourself some time to regroup, to listen to your sadass music, to mope, to watch your reruns. Eventually you’ll emerge from your cave of sadsack carrying a battle ax and singing an abba song. So for all you “Quit your whining” folks out there, let the people in your life be disappointed, give them the permission to mourn their losses. I don’t know how long is enough, it’s different for everyone, and each situation… but what I do know is that I know when enough is enough… it’s not something I need someone else to tell me or dictate. It’s my inner compass not your clock.