When Life Gives You Rejection...

...make blueberry pancakes. 

I recently got rejected. Not by a man, by a job. The only job I've been excited about in a long time. I made it to the final round out of many, many people. And then I didn't make it any further. 

I've been looking for new work outside my current field for almost a year. I realize I'm lucky to have a job now when other people don't, but that doesn't change how I feel everyday. I'm unhappy more often than not and it's breaking me down. 

I need to be allowed to be creative, to solve problems, to make decisions, to be trusted that I'm capable of making the right decisions. I need to be respected and challenged and know that there is space for me to grow. Right now I have none of those things and I feel defeated. 

This is why I haven't been dating or writing much here. I can't focus on anything else but my job search and what makes me incredibly happy.  Going on so many dates with men who meant nothing to me was not making me happy. Instead I've spent quality time with my favorite people.  I am truly blessed to have the most amazing, supportive friends in this city. They are from all parts of my life - high school, past jobs, comedy, friends of friends who I'm now close to - and they fill me up with love and laughter every time I see them. 

Last night I was at happy hour with some of those amazing people when I got the rejection email. "Let's get do a shot," my friend said immediately after I told her. I love her for not talking about it or saying something cliche. She was just there with me in the moment.

After my shot of Jamison I decided that not getting this job is not the end of something, rather it's just the beginning. The beginning of the point in my life where I'm finally able to articulate what I want out of my career, which is something I've never been able to do. I know what I want and I feel liberated.

While making pancakes and writing this post I played this song by Jesca Hoop about 20 times. It encapsulates me right now, and her voice is strong and beautiful.

"Born to"

by Jesca Hoop

Held all within these flesh walls

Pair of dice and domino

Seven fingers and thirteen toes

Wind her up and watch her go

Spin her out of dust into rock and fire

Oh Holy water

Throw her to the earth

Through the burning air

Big bang survivor

Chorus- and now you gotta get it with what you’ve got

With what you’ve been given or not

And now you gotta get it with what you’ve got

With what you’ve been given or not

I was born to…

Held all within these flesh walls

Envelopes and time capsules

Mark her fingers and mark her throat

Spin her round and let her go

Send her like a cup to her mothers table

Swallow

Drink the water

Watch her play her part in a long fixed fable

Oh as her father’s daughter

The Game of Life

 

I found the game of "Life" from my youth this weekend in my parent's basement covered in dust wedged between "Clue Master Detective" and "Outburst". I resisted the urge to pack these games in a suitcase and take them back to my tiny Brooklyn apartment. Just for the memories they could bring back if I saw them on my bookshelf.

My cousin's daughters ages 5 and 7 had wanted to play a board game. They recognized it immediately because they have the new version at home which, according to their mother, is bigger and glitzier and of course in 3-D (just like "real" life).

Playing this game felt like taking a trip in a time machine back to the humid summers of my youth during those couple of weeks when my cousins visited from Pennsylvania. We played every outdoor and indoor game possible, did gymnastics on the lawn, wrote and performed skits, and still whined to our parents that we were bored.

By that point the only thing left to do was put our faces really close to the giant standing fan talking into it so our voices sounded like Darth Vader from Star Wars. No, there was no such thing as central air in my childhood and I didn't care.

My cousin's younger daughter asked me which color car I wanted to be. "Blue, please." The girls told me to go first and as I was about to spin** the wheel of Life, the 5 yr old said "Now we have to find husbands." She pointed to our three cars with lone pink stick people, the "women". We lacked the blue stick people or the "men".

I wanted to shake her and shout "No! You don't have a find a husband. Only if you want to. You don't need one to have a wonderful life." But she's 5 and that would have been creepy. 

It was enlightening to play the game of "Life" as an adult who is living real life and has experienced many things on the board like going to college and graduate school, renting an apartment, paying bills etc. Like real life, sometimes you take two steps forward and sometimes you take one step back. Other times you get to skip ahead. But you always learn something along the way.
 

I've learned that you don't NEED a blue stick person in your life. If you WANT one you should look for one but you should WANT the right one for you, the one that complements you - not completes you. You should strive to be complete with yourself as the pink stick person in the driver's seat.

**After four spins I found a husband - but not before I became a doctor and won the lottery.