There’s a narrative we’re all taught growing up that if we’re brave enough to go for something, we’ll get it. After all, fortune favors the bold.
I’ve based my whole life around this sentiment, in every way.
I believe in taking chances. I preach about going out on limbs. I can’t think of a single incredible thing I’ve accomplished in life that hasn’t been a direct result of going for something I felt entirely ill-equipped to go for, and reaching far out of my comfort zone to get it.
Fortune favors the bold – both in life and in love. But it also doles out the biggest failures to the bold. And that’s something we rarely acknowledge.
We encourage each other to go for our dreams, take the road less travelled, put our pride aside and tell that person how we feel. We watch other people doing these things, and we listen to their glowing success stories.
But we forget to ask them about all the times it didn’t work out.
Because here’s the truth about living boldly – particularly when it comes to love – it comes hand in hand with rejection. And not small-scale rejection. Big, brutally painful rejections that can absolutely knock the wind out of you.
I can attest to the sting of these rejections. I’ve felt them more often than I wish I could claim.
But here’s the thing I like to remind myself of every time I’m reeling from a painful disappointment: At the end of the day, life is – and always will be – a numbers game.
People are not interchangeable. But there is and always will be an infinite number of people out there whom you could connect if you’d simply allow yourself the opportunity to do so. If you’d simply put yourself out there enough times, go for what you want under enough circumstances, barrel through that unrelenting sting of rejection as many times as it’s going to take.
It’s hard to remember that when you’re reeling from a fresh disappointment.
But the truth of the matter is, if you’re finding yourself moving from failure to subsequent failure, at least it means you’re in the right arena.
It means you’re putting yourself out there. It means you’re taking initiative to make something happen for yourself, in a way that many people aren’t willing to.
Because the truth is, if you are not sticking your neck out there and striking the hell out on love, you’re most likely missing your entire life while it is happening to you.
You’re missing all the connections you could make. All the people you could grow alongside. All of the seemingly platonic friends who may have said, “Yes, yes, yes!” If you’d been bold enough – for ten simple seconds – to ask them if the feelings were mutual.
You are choosing to not be a person who spends their life cowering inside, wondering what could have happened or where things could have gone if they’d only showed the hell up to their own life and took that one stupid risk.
And it’s not always going to work out. That’s a motherfucking guarantee in love.
Rejection strikes the absolute best of us. Beyoncé’s been rejected. Obama’s been rejected. Your parents and your colleagues and your crush have all been shot down – at least once – in a way that really mattered.
We’ve all stricken out so intensely that we thought we may never recover from it.
And yet, we all do.
The bruises on our egos heal. The holes in our heart fill back in.
And the people who ultimately bounce back the hardest are the ones who put themselves right back out there. The ones who keep taking those chances. Who keep sticking their necks out for love, because they know that for every nine times it doesn’t work out, the tenth time makes each previous strikeout seem irrelevant.
The tenth time will always, always be worth it.
But if you aren’t willing to fight through each letdown and disappointment that precedes it, maybe you don’t deserve that big love.
Because anything worth having has to be fought for.
And as long as you are striking out on love, you will always be fighting the right battle.