I wanted to write this blog post last week, but then I discovered my domain had expired and I had to wait until the renewal payment had gone through before I could post anything on here. Actually, it’s a good thing that I couldn’t as I was feeling pretty miserable and negative about myself in general. My post would have been full of “woe is me” and “I’m a complete failure”sort of rubbish.But as they say time is a healer and I’ve since bounced back and I’m now in a much better place.
So, why the misery and negativity you may well ask. I simply felt rejected and a failure. I don’t have the skin of a rhinosaurus and am far too sensitive for my own good sometimes. I take things to heart too easily and my confidence takes a big nose dive and hits the ground with a great big splat!
We all experience failure and rejection at sometime in our lives and of course it hurts every time. That hurt might last for the shortest of time and before long you pick yourself up, dust yourself down and get on with life, or it can be monumental and last a lifetime causing a multitude of emotional problems to struggle with.
I remember the disappointment of not getting into the secondary school I so wanted to go to. The letter arriving to inform me that I was unsuccessful in getting a place at The Royal Ballet School (I know, pretty hard to believe looking at me now). The promised phone call that never came from the boy who had kissed me at the village disco. All left me sobbing into my pillow and thinking my world had come to an end. But after a hug and pep talk from my mum life carried on and the world kept on spinning.
Then there were the times when long-standing boyfriends ended our relationships. I was totally and utterly devastated when my first boyfriend decided it was over. He was my big, huge love and my world came crashing down. I couldn’t sleep, eat or function. My pillow wasn’t just wet, it was absolutely sodden! A few days later we got back together and over the course of the next few years we got engaged, and then promptly disengaged twice!
A few years later my live in boyfriend announced in a busy Covent Garden cocktail bar that he was leaving me there and then to go and live with a work colleague who’s boyfriend had broken up with her and needed comforting ! Our relationship was pretty rocky at that point and I should have been relieved, but I didn’t and took our break up hard. Rejection and failure can sometimes lead you to doing things that when you look back reek of desperation and stupidity. One month after splitting up I organised a surprise trip to Paris for the two of us, and if that wasn’t mad enough, the following month I arrived uninvited at his mother’s house on Christmas Day!
You would have thought that the break up of a marriage would be right there at the top of the rejection and failure leaderboard. After 18 years of marriage my then husband phoned me one evening to tell me he was leaving me that evening. He returned to collect his things but wouldn’t discuss our break up ever again. I felt stunned, but relieved in a weird sort of way that we were no longer pretending to be a couple and struggling to cope with a failing relationship. We could both move on and get on with our lives without the stress and uncertainty that had been making us both so unhappy. From that point on we became friends again and we could laugh and smile together as we had used to. I was sad that our marriage had failed, but I didn’t feel a failure and any thoughts of rejection soon passed.
So, you might be wondering what happened last week to prompt me to write this post. The long and the short of it is, I didn’t get re-elected as my WI president. One minute I was the president and the next I wasn’t. I must admit it did come as a bit of a shock. I felt really embarrassed and shunned by our members and for days toyed with the idea of leaving the WI. But I’m ok now and the feelings of being a failure have passed. I’m looking at the positives not the negatives of being demoted for want of a better word and in all honesty I wasn’t that great at being a president. The new president will do a much better job than me.
There are bound to be other ocassions in the future when I will feel that I’ve failed, or get hurt by rejection. Maybe being older and wiser will mean I can cope better with it. Or then again maybe not. I’m hoping that I won’t ever make rash and stupid decisions again. For one thing, I’ll definitely not be organising any more surprise trips to Paris. The very memory of that still has me squirming. Zut alors Brigitte…how mad was that!