So during some intense work research (aka surfing the web), I came across the national day calendar and discovered that today is “National Sorry Charlie Day”. It was named after StarKist’s Charlie the Tuna who has, apparently, faced a lot of rejection but kept a smile on his face through it all (does anyone remember this???). Anyhoo, today is supposed to remind us about the times we have been rejected and persevered. I’m using today as an excuse to be an even bigger annoyance to my friend and colleague of the same name since, coincidentally, “Sorry Charlie” is our non-official department slogan.
But it is a good topic to ponder. Rejection. As a chubby girl destined for the “friend zone” I definitely experienced it. And as a struggling musician- I’m the mayor of it. Now as a ChiGirl- I admit I still fear it. Rejection is like your own, personal episode of a “Bachelor” rose ceremony- without the pretty dress. It’s awkward, heartbreaking, and it feels like everyone in the world is witnessing your pain and embarrassment.
As someone who was chubby and, for the most part, not very feminine I’ve been rejected by my fair share of guys. Usually it was the “I don’t want to ruin our friendship” speech. My theory is that every guy gets a copy of this speech in Boys Scouts or football practice or something. “You’re a really good friend. You’re, like, way cooler than other girls, though, and I can talk to you like one of the guys. It’s just that you’re almost like a sister to me.” It’s a valiant effort but telling me I’m like your sister is not helping, it’s more like rubbing salt in the wound.
I have to say, looking back, I’m happy I went through what I went through. Even though I spent nights wondering why no one was asking me out, I also think deep down I knew that when the right person came along it would be real. Then something awesome happened. I stopped caring. I met some people, mostly enjoyed some casual dates. There were potentials, but for the most part I just enjoyed being by myself and having fun during the some of the freest years of my life. Then I met him- the one who saw what no one else did. And when I did meet him, one of the first memorable things he told me was “You know, I definitely think we have something beyond a friendship here.”
The Hardest Rejection of All
In the entertainment industry they say you’ll hear a million “No’s” before you get a “Yes.” They were not kidding. I think the hardest rejection I have faced in my life is music. It’s not just auditioning for “America’s Got Talent” and never hearing back. Those are actually easy. You know your chances are slim to begin with. It’s the small, everyday no’s that get you. It’s every friend who doesn’t come to your gig, every family member who wouldn’t follow your page, and every donation you failed to raise. Every ignored email, invite, or text. I’m still recovering from my last rejection as a musician. And when someone asks me how my music is going, I’m ashamed to tell them that the fear of rejection has gotten the best of me.
ChiGirl and Rejection
I think that is the limbo I have been stuck in for the past few years. It’s why moving out of the city was so easy- in a way I hid from the music scene, the chances of running into old music colleagues in the street, avoiding those who helped me in my cause only to see it all burst in to flames. It’s why I haven’t written many new songs lately. It’s why I- someone who would get up on stage for open mics, concerts, karaoke, you name it- don’t even want to perform for a family birthday party. I let rejection get the best of me. But here and there I feel the urge to try again. And I just have to hope that right now I ‘m just still in the phase of healing. One day, the rejection won’t be as scary. I sent in a song to a national songwriting contest. It didn’t win but it got seem positive feedback. Right now I’ve been writing humorous songs, stuff that just keeps the juices flowing but that I don’t intend to take seriously. And I hope one day I’ll have the courage to share some new material with you because I did promise when I made this blog plenty of music. And I intend to keep that promise!
So in honor of “National Sorry Charlie Day” I encourage you to remember those rejections. Some may have been a blessing in disguise. Some may cut a little deeper. But if you are reading this, that means we both survived it all and lived to fight another day. So keep smiling!