It is amazing how frequently I end up feeling rejected, even if I don't necessarily spend time worrying about it. Most people probably don't even know that I feel like they're rejecting me because it's not always about what they are doing, but what they are not doing.
Rejection is ugly. I am not good enough, pretty enough, funny enough. I'm not happy enough or interesting enough. I am just not enough.
It is sad and lonely. I easily forget about all the wonderful people who do think I am enough, and instead wonder, Why doesn't anyone like me? My critical self interprets rejection in a tiny interaction. My self-esteem is still struggling to be strong enough to support my heavy self-doubt.
I want to not care. But not in the I'm-pretending-like-I-don't-care-but-I-totally-do kind of way, but in a true, it-really-doesn't-matter-because-my-self-esteem-knows-I'm-good-enough-and-so-I'm-not-going-to-let-it-bother-me kind of way.
I want to be strong enough for me, to not be bothered by perceived rejection because it starts to get too heavy, to be too much. And I want to be strong enough for my girls. I want to be the kind of role model that is not so sensitive that every little thing feels personal. And I want to be the kind of role model that can be upset with real rejection, and then grow from it and move on.
It is hard, but I am working on it. It's one of those "one step forward, two steps back" kind of thing. Sometimes I'm one step forward. And sometimes, like now, I'm a few steps back.