Hello! I’ve been meaning to write this blog post for a long time. My bad—I’ve been crazy busy. I’m still posting. 😉 I’m loving my journey to 30!! I’ve learned so much about myself—growing and being challenged daily.
Rejection—the mention of the word evokes very powerful emotions. It’s something I know very well. I’ve experienced rejection in my home life, in the professional sphere, and at the hands of so-called friends. I’m not alone. I know many (if not all!) people have and continue to struggle with rejection.
There is another side to rejection though. I’ve learned in my almost 30-year life journey that rejection can be empowering (stay with me here!). It is powerful because you can reject those things that are not aligned with your feelings, circumstances or expectations.
Actively rejecting others’ (and societal) expectations and standards for my life has been freeing because I’ve spent most of life trying to live up to others’ wanted me to be. It was both unrealistic and exhausting — I lost myself in the process.
I’ve also learned that you don’t have to accept the things that people say to you. You have a role in it too—don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself because you are your best advocate.
Here are some things I actively reject in my life:
Pressure to get married and/or have children: As I approach 30, there is a part of me that wonders if I’ll ever get married. Then the other part is clearly not in any rush. Why the pressure? Self-imposed pressure? Societal pressure? I reject it. If it’s one thing that I’ve learned from others’ experiences it’s that marriage and children don’t solve your problems. I reject the pressure. There are things that are really out of my control but carrying the pressure of when I’m going to get married is not one of them. I’ve also learned in my late-twenties to live with intention, which means to be active and present in life. I have dreams and a purpose and I’m in HOT pursuit of those things. Obviously, I’m human so I do have moments when I question or wonder why marriage hasn’t happened for me but I also think about the bigger picture of why I was placed on this earth. Then I think that I better get to work because I have a lot to accomplish!
Those who believe that my experience isn’t valid: I’m a Black and I have albinism—one can’t exist without the other. I recognize that it is human nature to want to put everyone in neat “identity boxes.” I know that is tricky for people because my identity is complicated. Recently, I had a conversation with somebody who was questioning an aspect of my experience as a Black woman with albinism. I was explaining to him that I do get sexual advances that relate to my albinism (some men find it to be a fetish). He said I receive those advances because I’m a woman and that the albinism was a lesser factor. I reject that. I know what I’ve experienced. I’m not going to argue with anybody about what I’ve been through. I don’t owe him an explanation about my life and what I experience.
Other people’s negative words: Let’s face it—words are powerful. I don’t think that sometimes people really think about the things they say. People have said hurtful things to me at various points of my life. Unfortunately, I’ve internalized a lot of their negative comments. However, as I’ve grown older, I try really hard to reject the things they say. It is a struggle because of the power that words carry, but I make an intentional effort to counter those negative words with positive thoughts and words. Sometimes I’m instantly successful at this and other times it takes more time than I expected. I know it matters though that I’ve actively seeking to reject people’s negative words.