Every year, when Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, rolls around, I find myself staring at a list of people I’ve offended. It takes me hours to put it together; I go through my phone contacts, Facebook, and even class rosters to mark everyone I’ve annoyed, hurt, or disappointed. The process has become automatic at this point, but it’s nonetheless unpleasant. I don’t enjoy being reminded of all the times I’ve screwed up.
I’ve only recently come to realize that there really isn’t anything wrong with me just because I don’t enjoy going out. It’s just not who I am. And after two years, I’m okay with that — you should be, too.
But more than anything, my professor’s ability to find beauty on that seemingly forsaken day left me speechless. I was prepared to let the afternoon go to waste, just as I was ready to declare my day earlier this week a total failure. But my beloved professor wasn’t. Instead of seeing the obvious ugliness that sometimes surrounds us, she chose, instead, to see something beautiful. She saw blossoms in the midst of a snowstorm.
Making greetings a part of Princeton’s personality would encourage interaction between individuals who don’t normally feel as if they have anything to say to one another simply because they’ve never tried.
I can only imagine how many meaningful relationships I’ve missed out on because of my fixation on shoes, instead of the story behind them.
Few will announce their depression to an audience because of the shame associated with any kind of special treatment. That doesn’t mean, however, that such individuals don’t seek empathy and compassion.
When I look at myself on a good day, I don’t search for faults. I see an attractive, funny, smart young woman who enjoys life. But when I look at whatever goes wrong in my life, I see only faults. I see an ugly, stupid failure who ruins everything she touches — even when that’s just not true.
I only learned what “Netflix and chill” meant after I once suggested to a guy I liked that we do so sometime. He quickly texted me back to say that he was shocked by my honesty. “You’re usually pretty shy,” he said. “Are you sure?” I couldn’t understand why he was so hesitant. “What do you mean?” I responded. “I’m only inviting you to watch a movie.”
We’ve all been that rejected person — and it doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t feel good to know that someone doesn’t want you in their “group” without ever getting to know you. So examine your actions over the next few weeks and ask yourself if you’re rejecting people because it’s easier to do so, or if you truly believe that you wouldn’t be compatible.
It’s normal to feel hurt by rejection, and accepting and learning from it is far easier said than done.