My first rejection was not from a lover or a boy i liked. It was not in highschool either, it was in my primary school. Remember those dreadful white P.E shorts we were made to wear? We were in the school bus on the way to school in the morning. I had just gotten in and as i was walking towards the back of the big bus, this boy, a grade younger than me looked down at my legs and asked, “Why are your knees so weird?”
He was not asking this out of spite. Or even to embarass me. It was an earnest question from a curious kid. In grade five, at the age of 9, i came to understand what imperfection was. I learnt how to be self conscious. I spent the rest of that day, and the rest of my life hiding my legs from people. I still do, i wear baggy clothes, you’d never see me in tight clothes for fear that people will see my imperfect knees.
But you know what i came to learn years later? My knees are not weird, i was just a really skinny kid so my knee bones jutted out. You remember this. But the damage was done.
My other rejections have always been from the people around me. You must know this, you like me are one of those kids that grew up in other people’s country’s. I was always the “other”, never really the “one of us”. It was subtle, in all the countries i have been in. I’m back in my own country now and I am still rejected.
I do not speak their language well enough. I do not speak it with the right accent. I do not know their cultures. I am shunned and told to feel ashamed for not being fluent in their language. Last week i met my crush’s family, and i cant remember how we came to speak about my origins but i remember his mother saying “She is not one of ours”. She did not say it in a spiteful way, it was a joke, in just the same way people mock the way i pronounce things. But it hurts. If i do not speak the language i am shunned, if i speak it i am humiliated for how i pronounce things. There is no salvation for me.
I have no solutions for you. No words to make you better. Which is why i shared my experiences. I hope you will stop shading in black squares into your calendar. I hope you will finally find this wanting and needing within yourself and not search for it from other people. Learning to love and need and want yourself more than you do other people may be a strength. And a weakness. I am like that. And i doubt i ever let the people in my life feel needed enough for them to stay for a long time. They always leave in search of people that will need them.