I Faced The Biggest Rejection Of My Entire Life And Lived To Tell The Tale

I Faced The Biggest Rejection Of My Entire Life And Lived To Tell The Tale

Rejection was my biggest fear, but it was one life demanded I face

The years 2017 and 2018 were chalked full of more rejection than I had felt in my entire life. Those slim two years held a kind of pain that I find kind of hard to describe seeing as the hurt itself was moderately paralyzing at times. I was crippled with a feeling that I did not recognize. Rejection was something I had dealt with in exceedingly small portions before. I was made fun of by peers, not liked back by my crushes, and even practically fired from a theater company I volunteered for at fourteen. However, none of these things stung quite as badly as the ache of rejection I received in 2017 that topped over into the 2018 year.

I was first rejected by my dream college. That college was just about all I discussed with anyone at any time ever. I talked and talked about how great it would be when I was finally with my friends again and the experiences I would have when I got there. However, there was a quiet nagging feeling in the back of my mind telling me that this would never happen. I knew it was true and many of my peers around me knew it was true too, but the blow was still fatal. I received my rejection letter in the mail along with another rejection letter to a college I had wholeheartedly thought I was going to get into. I received letter after letter after letter of rejection from every college that I had assurance was going to accept me. I truly did not think it could get much worse than this, however, I could not have been more wrong.

I fell for a guy I knew was most likely wrong for me, but despite my best efforts I was unable to shake the feeling. I knew it was not ethical to feel the way that I did, but that in no way stopped me. I could not shove my feelings down and when I tried they bubbled back up until erupting into unrequited love for him. His interest was elsewhere and I was aware of this. My jealousy would spew out at times while talking to me and I feel certain that he was able to sense it. I was trying my very hardest to push my feelings aside so that I could work on getting rid of them entirely, but even though I worked my hardest, such actions were never rewarded.

I went out to ice cream to talk about it with friends, journaled about it, and even discussed it with my therapist, but one thing was for sure, I had it bad. The love I felt was nothing like the beautiful sentiments that I so often read about. I always thought relationship issues, crushes, and unreciprocated feelings were things that girls without a whole lot of problems complained about. However, this proved to be anything but the truth as I experienced it.

Every butterfly I felt was matched with an equal amount of anger, anxiety, and turmoil. I felt the emotional rollercoaster that so often plummeted downward take my thoughts away. Every time I saw him speak to her, I felt a part of me waste away. I knew it would never work. A platonic friendship was all we had. I continued to try though seeing as the feelings never faded.

I never actually informed him of my feelings. However, I saw my entire episode with him as a sort of pre-rejection. I never did the confessing so that I would not have to go through the process of rejection. Rejection was something I had come to know all too well and by no means did I intentionally want to place more of in my life so I avoided my confession of love in order to spare myself and my heart. He had someone else and even though the inner feminist within me informed me that I was a beautiful woman worthy of the absolute world, I asked myself what it was.

Am I annoying?

Am I obnoxious?

Do I try too hard?

Perhaps I’m ugly?

I went through the steps of self-blame and self-pity that many people do when faced with rejection. I told myself I was the problem and if I was a little better, perhaps I could be wanted. Maybe a college would want me if I was better. Maybe someone would actually want to love me if I was better. Perhaps if I was just overall a little bit better, my life would improve. If I was smarter, quicker, funnier, classier, better looking, or suaver, maybe I would actually make it somewhere in life.

After being turned down from my dream college and my dream man, I really thought that the rejection was coming to a close. Life hit me in the face one last time. Hard. For the past three previous summers, I have worked in a summer camp where I truly feel I have poured my heart out into the children and the love I have received back has been a kind I could have never imagined. I still see my children, I babysit some, and the friendships I made with fellow counselors at the camp was unbreakable.

I discovered Newks Eatery that summer which has gone on to be one of my favorite restaurants that I eat at every single Tuesday and Thursday for tomato basil soup day. I go so often now that they know my order and I have actually befriended a few of the staff members. (Sometimes I get free drinks depending on who’s working that day.) I would often hop into the car of one of the counselors and we would drive off to whatever restaurant we wanted to try during our breaks. It was a time in my life that I truly do look back on and smile and although I love my job that I have now, I don’t think any job I’ve ever had filled me with the amount of joy that job did. I still see myself there when I smell sunscreen or see a waterslide.

We had massive rallies in the morning where the camp director played outrageous games and massive flashing spotlights eliminated the room. It was all a big budget production with expensive lights, confetti cannons, and a massive cage full of ball pit balls that kids would compete in.

I worked the 2015, 2016, and 2017 year. I spent my seventeenth and eighteenth birthday there and had never experienced such love. Every single person at the camp showered me with birthday wishes and even with presents. I was brought Taco Bell breakfast on my eighteenth birthday and then the entire camp staff sang to me. On my seventeenth birthday which was spent at the camp as well, I was chosen for our lip sync battle and was serenaded by the entire camp. In conclusion, it rocked. I enjoyed my time there a lot and was looking forward to spending my fourth summer working there. I interviewed and it really didn’t go well. He asked me about college (yes the ones I had just recently been rejected from) and I almost started crying.

I felt weird interviewing anyway seeing as this was a place I had worked out for the past three summers of my life. I applied again this year for my fourth year and was not really worried at all. A few weeks after the interview, I received a rejection letter informing me that I was not in the proper place to return as a counselor this year and although there was perhaps hope for me in the future as a counselor, there was not any currently. I was a bit blindsided, to say the least. I had spent the past three years of my life at this place and now I was being rejected as though I was a stranger. I felt degraded and angry that I had even spent so much time there and even angrier that the time had come to an unexpected close. I was left jobless for the summer seeing as I work at an elementary school and my work ends in May each year.

My stomach twisted a little when I saw the email. I realized it was sent from his personal address as opposed to the camp address. I was moderately shocked, but after the long line of rejection that I repeatedly faced, it was, unfortunately, something that I had kind of learned to expect. I have always been plagued with an overwhelming amount of pessimism and this only increased as the rejections came rolling in. It seemed to me that almost every aspect of my life was chalked full of rejection. I fear rejection just about more than anything in the entire world, however, it was something I learned to face because if I ignored it, I feared it would kill me. It was a lot to stomach and I can’t say I handled it like a professional, but moving forward seemed to be my only option so that, indeed, is what I did. I trudged forward sluggishly without any real clue of what it was I was going to be doing.

The email, however, was a fatal blow amongst a long line of punches to the gut. I actually felt moderately nauseous while reading it and although I deleted it quickly so that the memory would not be etched in my brain, I found myself going through the trash section in my email just to read the words again. They were just as brutal the second time. It seemed to be me like the entire email was composed of a very large tap dancing around the phrase I suppose wasn’t professional to say, but “you aren’t good enough, we’re just better here” seemed to be the overarching theme. I was just baffled because there was a time where I was completely good enough. There was a time where I was actually better than good enough.

I excelled in my work there and although rejection was a theme in my life, this particular rejection was one I wasn’t expecting to have to face. It also bothered me that the entire operation of running an organization doesn’t really fall on the back of one person. For the most part, I would go unmissed. It was evident to me that in a job where a new summer starts every year, people come in and out relatively frequently. People who did not return for the next summer were rarely discussed seeing as the last time they were seen working was over a year ago and so much had happened since then and really I suppose it was old with the old and in with the new. People were forgotten quick in a job that moves so fast. I knew in my heart of hearts that I wouldn’t be missed. I would be longing for something that did not long back for me. I was missing something that I knew wasn’t missing me back.

The whole situation hurt, like a weird sort of backward breakup in which you are treated exceedingly professionally even though there are quite obviously personal feelings involved. I felt weird and sad and like I was being nostalgic over memories that I was given the option to continue. It was like it didn’t really have to be over, but it was. I was given the opportunity, an interview even, to make it not be over, but it was still over. I thought a lot about all the fun times I had and when I did I was filled with a kind of joy I can’t really describe and it was a joy I desperately wanted to feel again. I didn’t even know at the time that these moments were ones that I would deeply treasure, but I did know I was bidding an informal goodbye to something that I thought I was actually going to be able to continue living.

I ended up getting accepted into the University of Alabama and enrolling to be a part of a college I had known and heard about practically my whole life. I worked my hardest to get over the boy I loved who never seemed to be able to love me back. There are times where my heart hurts a little, but I really do know that there is someone out for me and I refuse to ever think otherwise. As for the job, obviously, I still don’t have it. As the summer approaches, I am applying for every summer camp in the state of Alabama so if you know anyone looking for a camp counselor, kindly hit me up.

(Yes, that was a bit of shameless plug, but desperate times do call for desperate measures.)

All in all, things did work out. I will be attending University of Alabama in the fall and I am excited for all the adventures that await me when I am there and do certainly hope that those adventures are plentiful. Boys really and truly do come and go and as a bisexual woman, I’ve learned girls tend to come and go as well. My dating pool is almost 100% wide open and I am ready for love in whatever form it comes. I am still saddened by the job and feel like I had a part of me brutally ripped away before I was truly ready, but I have accepted that this is just a rather unfortunate part of life.

I will think of the memories, but not too often lest they put me in a sad state of longing. What I had when I worked there was beautiful, and perhaps I will never have such contentment in a workplace ever again, but it was an experience that I do cherish. I will try not to look on it with bitterness and realize that every aspect of our life was brought to us for a reason. My last three years dedicating my time to that camp was one that I know taught me many things and probably holds lessons I have yet to even discover.

Life is full of rejection. This is a terribly sad, but incredibly true fact. However, it is how you choose to take rejection that serves as a mirror to who you truly are. I know I am strong even though I’ve had so many people in my life try to convince me otherwise. Whether it’s bosses, boyfriends, girlfriends, lovers, or universities, I know that I will be hearing disappointing words quite a lot. I have chosen to fight on. I have chosen to pull through. I have chosen to be a warrior in spite of the stones I feel are being hurled my way. Rejection is life, but it is also a lesson. It is a lesson we all learn at some point or another and although it stings I have grown. I, Lizzie Bowen, am greater. I am stronger. I am alive. I am ready to face the world no matter its’ cruelties.

(Oh, and also I was serious of that camp hiring thing. Hit me up.)

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.

Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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5 Reasons Why I Don't Want Kids

Procreating. It's not for everyone.


My cousin had a baby last August. She's absolutely beautiful and I love her to death, but she doesn't change my mind when it comes to wanting kids when I'm older. Truth is, I don't want kids. I'm sure everyone says this at some point in their life, and maybe I will change my mind in the future, but kids kind of freak me out.

Maybe I'm just not the most maternal person, but here's why having kids, at least for now, isn't on my bucket list.

1. Giving birth.

I know, I know, it's a beautiful thing, the miracle of life or whatever, but go watch a birthing video and then come tell me how beautiful it really is. Everything from a woman's water breaking, to actually giving birth just grosses me out, to be honest.

The thought of having to push something the size of a watermelon out of something the size of a lemon is just absolutely terrifying. I have a pretty average to above average pain tolerance, but no matter how well you can deal with pain, that shit is obviously not a pleasant experience.

2. The responsibility.

You have to do everything for babies, literally everything. Feed it, dress it, wash it, change it, put it to sleep, and you have to know what a baby wants when it wants it. If I had a baby and it started to cry, I would have no idea what to do. I know plenty of people say that once you have the baby, you automatically know which type of crying is for what need, but that makes no sense to me.

Do babies have different types of cries? How do you know which is which?

I consider myself a pretty responsible person when it comes time to be accountable for myself, but to be accountable for another life form?

I'll put it this way. I have two pet turtles. We got them when I was about twelve or so years old, and I remember being obsessed with them. That lasted for like maybe two weeks, and then I got bored with them, which meant I didn't take care of them. My parents did. Not the best analogy for obvious reasons, but I'm sure you understand what I'm trying to say. In other words, if I can barely take care of a pet, how would I ever be able to take care of a small human?

3. Kids are messy and loud.

Look, I'm not like a total clean freak or anything like that, but my mother definitely is. She used to disinfect sticks so my sister and I could roast marshmallows when we went camping for Girl Scouts. My point is, it's been drilled into my brain that everything has to be wiped down clean, and germs are not my friends.

I hate being around sick people; they freak me out, especially since I get sick so easily. If my baby or child were to get sick, I'd obviously still have to take care of it, which means wiping snot, cleaning vomit, and getting coughed on. I guarantee you, as soon as my child were to get better, I'd get sick.

Don't even get me started on changing dirty diapers.

Also, if there's anything I've learned from my cousin's baby thus far, it's that babies put everything in their mouths. Any object on the ground, their hands, and feet; nothing is safe. Babies don't understand sanitation, so it's not their fault, but I just know that if I had a kid, it would be in a plastic bubble so it could remain as clean as possible.

Babies are also very loud. Back when I worked at a diner, we used to have customers with little kids and babies all the time. If the kid was unhappy for any reason, that child would scream its head off. I never understood how such a big noise could come from such a small human.

4. Kids are expensive AF.

Kids are not cheap. They have an entire laundry list of stuff that needs to be bought for them, and they run out of supplies frequently. I can't imagine how much money people spend on things like diapers, formula, and clothes. Speaking of clothes, babies grow out things quickly. You get one or two good uses of an outfit and that's it. They outgrow it, and they can no longer use it.

Then, as they get older, you've got to think about school, eventually college, and extracurricular activities that they want to do, gifts for Christmas and other holidays. I say all of this, realizing how much my own parents have spent on me and my siblings (thanks, Mom and Dad).

5. Raising kids looks hard.

Knowing how much my sisters and I were pains in the asses for my parents, I can't imagine having to deal with that crap myself. The whole idea of shaping a child into a fully functioning member of society with good morals and conscience sounds like a lot of work.

There have been so many times where I would be at work and I'd have to deal with customers that have their kids with them, and these children are the biggest brats I've ever seen. Rude, disrespectful, obnoxious or disruptive; just the opposite of how kids should act in any public setting.

A big part of the reason I wouldn't want kids is that I see other people's kids and the way they act. It makes me just want to yell at the parents. At least I know that if I do ever decide to have kids, they'll be raised the way I want them to be and they'll behave the way they're supposed to. Appropriately.

In the big picture of things, whether or not you want kids is up to you. It's not meant for everyone and that's not the end of the world. I always get told that I don't mean it when I say I don't want kids, which isn't that big of a deal, but it can get annoying. In my opinion, if a person says they don't want kids, it's not because they think kids are like some evil being or anything like that. It's because they know their limits.

Growing a family is an amazing thing, but it's also different for everyone. No one should be judged for not liking or wanting to have kids. Everyone has different opinions. This one is just mine.


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