“Sorry, she has wheatish complexion, not white”
“She is too educated “
“She is over-qualified”
“Oh, it’s just that she is working which means she is independent. “
“She is over-weight”
In case the reader is lost, the above statements are the reasons for me being rejected for a marriage proposal. A culture where weight and looks define the identity of a girl and her prospects for marriage, this was a rude awakening. It was painful as it turns out that I am a human being, I worked hard to attain a Masters’ degree to have a decent career and I have a heart (a fact not recognized by many). What is funny that qualities such as education and the ability to earn goes against me and ever funnier: it is women rejecting me for these very qualities for their sons!
This is one type of rejection. My recent encounters with rejection came by not getting accepted to graduate programs and a conference. And all the emails came on the same day! ( it was rejection email rain day for my inbox!).
Under such circumstances, what do you do?
My mom’s response:
Everything happens for the best reason. Just move on.
(She is a Leo. Hell of a temper, nothing discourages her and moves on to other things)
Really?! Me and not accepted? Great. Thank you. Now watch me get what I want.
(I’m a Scorpio. Stubborn, dedicated and a fury of emotions. How a Leo-Scorpio of the same gender live in the same house? You are welcome to visit my home anytime.)
Rejections from institutions, situations and from people are painful (or disappointing to say the least). It is hard to be calm and positive. Even the best of us break down and I am certainly not an exception. The past few months I have only questioned myself and my abilities. But then when have I ever had a smooth sailing in life? Just when? Have any of us had a smooth sailing life? The thought occurred while I was having a cup of tea (just love English Breakfast)
Never. I never had a smooth sailing ever and no one does. Life is filled with storms. There are always obstacles and hindrances in the way either in the form of people or some others. But at the end, there is really only one option: fight or give up. Either learn and try again or simply be a victim. Worse, you learn this lesson the hard way after a string of real hard life experiences. No matter how much others tell you to keep on going, there will come a point in life where you will decide whether you want to be a fighter or be a victim. I can say this for myself. I teach and advice students not to give up and keep on trying because if some doors close, some windows will open. But practically implementing this same piece of advice on myself was difficult because I would be in the same situation as my students and worse I have no one to give me a dose of positivity. I am alone and thereby to get up on your own is difficult. Worse, life throws a curveball when you least expect it and this can breaks the individual apart.
The attitude to fight for dreams and desires does not come easy. I realized that where I am in life now is due to persistence, patience and the strong will power to overcome the hardships. I have in past, sacrificed sleep, food and even social time to achieve my goals by putting in my heart and soul. The negative energy that came my way became the fire to achieve something productive. This is where a realm of possibilities opened up giving new directions in life. Did I ever thought I could help students in economics? Never. I never even thought that I could be a good teacher. Did I ever thought I could understand students’ problems well? No, because as a student I went through many problems and had no one to help me. I did it alone by working hard myself.
I have accepted that I will have to work hard and struggle to achieve anything in life and that acceptance is the biggest favor I have done to myself. This is because I am no longer attached to “good expectations” in life. I am prepared that worse will come my way and I will deal with it (maybe I was programmed that way from the beginning and just realized it now).
Being a victim is just not my cup of tea. I refuse to entertain this thought. The recent encounters have fired me up. My thinking processes are going in multiple directions and I am tapping into to all of them (this website being one of them). The road is not easy but once this is known, it makes the journey easy. Rejections are good because they become the drivers for achievements. Hence I am now working harder to make my dreams a reality.
The only front I am not working hard on is marriage. I, with all my heart, believe mom should have some work to keep her busy and have gladly given her the task (you can say she is off my back). This has freed me. It has made space for dreams categorised as “no-go” areas.
So, I am enjoying the freedom and daring to defy conventional wisdom bent on limiting me.
Now it’s time for a cup of tea.