Dear John: A T-Swift Inspired Rejection Letter

I’d like to speak on a subject that I know pretty well.

And that.

is the subject of rejection. 

To say I’m an expert on rejection would be an understatement. To say I’m a highly knowledgeable scholar on the matter would be a sort of  stretch.. but really not too far from the truth.  Regardless, I’ve had my fair share of something that we all have experienced at one point or another. 

It’s not something I’m like super proud of or anything. I don’t necessarily want to shout from the rooftops that I’ve had my fair share of letdowns in life. But I feel like it’s something I should probably talk about anyway, so you can feel confident that when I say takes one to know one? That I know what the hell I’m talking about. 

 I really debated writing this.  Because I know how you kids are. You either want to either A) be written about in my blog or B) wonder if you are who I am talking about in certain posts.

So let’s just save us all the trouble and skip to that part ok?

I work like Taylor Swift in my writing. If you break my heart, you get a song. Now- I’m not a country music star with millions of fans to sing my music, so I work with what I have. And what I have is occasional moment of clarity from my real-life experiences that I put on a screen and then blast over social media. I can’t rock a guitar and make a verbal slam of an ex-boyfriend make me millions, but at least I can still say how I feel and hope maybe you feel the same. 

And so I thought I’d just go ahead and say at the beginning that yes. Yes it is about you. You and you and you and you and you. And everyone else who’s ever kicked me to the curb.

But also, it’s so much bigger than that. It’s about rejection as a whole. It’s about the idea of being let down. It’s about where it’s taken me from and where it’s going to take me to. It’s about sitting on the sidelines. It’s about being second-string. It’s about the frustrating, the heart-breaking and the down-right humiliating.

It’s about my turn to play. 

So let’s get to it shall we?

I don’t really remember when it started. But at some point, someone came along and didn’t follow through. And ever since then, It’s been a pretty constant stream of denial and disappointments. 

I spent a good amount of high school feeling like I was the scraps of what was left over.. the remainder of all the good picks. Coming home to your mom asking how your day went and just bursting into tears. Applying too much eyeliner and wearing some kind of metaphorical shirt that said NOTICE ME!!!!!!!!!.. in invisible ink. Laughing at some boys idiotic joke about your lack of cleavage. Balancing jumping up and down on my bed blasting Avril Lavigne with the first time I was ever drunk wearing an sombrero, singing to a random guy the country song, “Stay with Me”. 

Oh yeah. We’re going there with this.

Continuing on…

It’s slamming your head repeatedly against your keyboard because you accidentally asked a guy two years older than you to homecoming via computer. And then him (very sweetly) telling you he already had a date. And then him not even actually going. 

It’s talking to someone all summer long and being so excited to see them in person..  only to find out they’ve been harboring a secret girlfriend. 

It’s one embarrassing night in college, My freshman year, I think I drunkenly sang to a guy I was totally in love with– “Take me or Leave me”  (What is with me and communicating my love via drunken singalongs? Sheez, I’m a train wreck.) Anyway.. Thanks for still being my friend after that Elliott. 

It’s about writing a long, long letter to a guy you cared deeply for and never, ever hearing back. 

And I’ve been dumped through a text message. I’ve been dumped over the phone. I’ve been dumped over freaking AOL Instant Messenger.  I’ve been stood up with no explanation. I’ve just been out right ignored until it was clear that things were probably going no where but no where (that’s always fun!). I’ve spent a lot of time waiting for explanations. I’ve spent a lot of time waiting in general.

I’ve fallen. And I mean on my face. Multiple times. continuously. To the point where if this was a literal thing, I would be pretty damn attractive come today. 

And people will say they care…. And they’ll never call. 

And people will smile and tell you the prettiest of words to your face…. And then behind your back, tear you apart.

People will tell you you’re beautiful and perfect… and then they’ll say the exact same thing to the person right behind you. 

People will lie to you.
They’ll make you cry.

And then? Worst of all?

They’ll forget you faster than you can say “See ya never.”

And that’s the truth.

Because I know I write about happily ever after and fairytale endings a lot. And I still believe in those things. I refuse to not believe in them.

But the truth of it is that before you walk out into that sunset, and jump in the car with that knight in shining BMW, you gotta take the bus next to the creepy homeless smelly people for several rounds. 

So on that note—I think by now if you are reading this.. and you’ve been reading for awhile, you know that all I really want to do for the rest of my life, is write. I love what I can do with words. When I finish writing here, I’ll re-read it maybe 20 times, making sure every word is just right. And then I wait. For you. For your approval. 

The other night, I was debating posting something and I asked a friend to pre-read it and after she told me she liked it— I was like, “Yeah, but do you think other people will like it?”

And then she said, “Who cares what other people think? It’s YOUR writing.”

And dammit, she’s right. 

Because I’m pretty good at getting rejected by people. By girls. By guys. For who I am. For the person I really can’t help but be. Because I’ve grown comfortable with the fact that if someone can’t accept that I don’t fit their equation of awesome… well, then they probably never deserved me in the first place.

But my writing. That’s like putting that person that I can’t control…on display…for everyone and just asking them to reject the thing I love the most in the world. 

And that’s terrifying for me. You guys are basically reading my diary. It’s like I just set the lock to my journal on fire and read it across P.A. system of the internet. 

So yeah, I’m a little  afraid sometimes to share what’s on my brain. But each time I write, I find something. It’s that–most of the time, someone somewhere feels the same. Someone gets what I am trying to say. 

So I’m guessing.. and maybe it’s just me.. but I’m guessing you’ve been rejected too. Maybe a lot of times. 

And if so?

Well here’s my secret:

One day you wake up and you realize, it’s never going to end. For the rest of my life forever and ever, I’m going to keep being let down. Maybe it won’t be a constant stream of boys breaking my heart, but someday (and knowing me.. probably soon)– I’m going to fall on my face again.

And again.

and again.

and again.

And then one day? I’m going to get my big break. Take that as you will. Because I don’t even know what that means yet. But I think.. I think it means that one day, someone’s going to realize everything I do is straight gold. 

Long story short, I’m not afraid of a little rejection. I’ve gotten this far in life by myself. With no one there to catch me. And I’m the best I’ve ever been. And personally, I think I just keep getting better.

So I’d like to personally thank all the nay-sayers, all the haters, all the people who pretended to hold their hands out–for never catching me. 

“Because even the biggest failure. Even the worst. Beats the hell out of never trying…”

Fall on soldiers. 

I’ve got your back—

M

For Blue Skies

Sometimes, I miss seasons.

Like trees turning and crisp leaves crunching and that cold feeling when you first step outside that it kind of hurts a bit and your cheeks and ears burn.

Like silent snow fall.

Like rain on glass.

The slow progression of everything brown becoming green again.

That appreciation you get from the beginning of each season before it overstays it’s welcome a little too long. And you complain because it’s too hot, or it’s too cold, or you hate shoveling snow, or WHERE IS THE DAMN SUN!?

Before you grow accustomed to something, right before you lose your real appreciation for it.

That’s the part of seasons I miss the most.

I used to love fall at KU.

It was beautiful sure, but it’s the specifics that happened when the leaves changed that I remember most. Like blue sweatpants. And sidewalk chalk. And avoiding the path of that one person you kind of know but not really but sort of and ohhhh I don’t want a flyer let me get on this imaginary phone call. And I remember getting really, really ready for a class because there was this one boy I always walked by. And even if just for a brief second, just for the tiniest moment— if we held eye contact.. well that’d be worth it. And everyone would ask why are you so dressed up? And I’d say, ..oh I had a class presentation, or oh just felt like it.. but really… that wasn’t really it at all.

And I remember running down stairs. I remember passing traffic. Smelling charcoal. Marijuana. Beer. I remember American flags. Plastic lawn furniture. Haphazardly strung Christmas lights. I remember country music. I remember climbing on top of Bailey Hall, standing on the roof and screaming at the top of my lungs. I remember my front porch swing. Long, dwindling, several wine glass deep conversations on concrete. I remember tortilla chips and pizza crust. Bunk beds. Bows. Boots. Laughing and laughing and laughing until I couldn’t breathe.

When I was little, I used to lay on my stomach with my head in my hands on my kitchen floor in front of the glass sliding door and just watch snow flakes fall continuously on my front porch. I would will them silently to fall faster. Harder. Come on….SNOW DAY.

I used to lay in my back yard and stare up at the sky with the boy next door and point out all the animals we’d catch in the clouds. I always saw butterflies.

One time, I was so frustrated and angry and sad, I decided to go for a run. Half-way through, it started raining so hard I couldn’t even see. So I just stopped and stood there for 15 minutes. And I started crying. But no one saw. Or could tell. And it was secretly kind of nice that no one ever knew.

They say it never rains in Southern California. I wouldn’t know. It hasn’t rained since I’ve been here… so I guess they’re right.

But, It WAS cold today. Not really actually I guess. I’m spoiled now and cold here would be a relief to the harsh weather of the mid-west. But it felt a little cold to me. It felt like a changing of a season.

It felt like fall.

And for a brief second this morning…. just a fleeting moment– it felt like sophomore year again.

These days, my life runs on a constant delightful sunshiney 70 degree continuous reel.

And I love the sun. I love the warmth. The yellow salt of the beach. The pristine cloudless blue sky. The insatiable greens. The pink and purple and red that bloom and bloom and bloom.

But sometimes.. just every once in a while…

I still miss seasons.

The (real) new girl

Today, I got asked out at a McDonald’s.

His name was Alfred and he was maybe 57. He smelled like cigarettes and he ordered the Fish filet.

I ordered a vanilla latte. Sugar-free. Non-fat. Iced. I got a straw.

I went to leave.

…And then he said, “What? No Starbucks? Girl, you’re way too cute to be getting coffee at McDonald’s.”

He followed this by asking if I wanted to get coffee at somewhere “a little nicer”. And that we should (and I quote), “get outta here.” Like we were in some kind of late-night dance club and I’d just been served my third 23rd vodka and water and I would think leaving anywhere with this potentially homeless man was an excellent idea.

I smiled. I put my straw in my coffee. I sipped.

“What’s your name?”

“Alfred, cutie.”

“Alfred.” I said. “Can I give you some advice?”

” You can give me anything you want, baby”

(… vomit)

“Ok. Thanks. So your approach… totally spot on. Way to jump right to the point. I like a man who knows what he wants.”

He moves closer to me. I take a step back.

Not so fast creep.

“…However, asking a 23-year-old girl out at a McDonald’s check-out line is seriously insulting. To any woman. Regardless of age.  Really? Come on dude.  If I may be frank, you have zero chance here. But I do appreciate the coffee offer. I wish you the best of luck in the future.”

He stared at me.

“..Oh and because I’m already speaking my mind? Cigarettes will kill you.”

Then, I turned around, walked out and went back to work.

I know a bunch of you are now thinking– Meg. You didn’t.

But I did guys.

And I will do it again.

Because I have decided that I think the world is lacking in some straightforwardness. I think we spend far too much time being overly, unnecessarily polite, saying half-truths and telling people they don’t look fat in things and oh… I didn’t see your call and letting each other down gently and surface level bouncing into one another but never wanting to offend so never really getting anywhere near the bottom line and so in short, we never actually say how we really feel.

And so, for once, today, I did what I’ve always wanted to do. I gave a truthful, straight-forward brutally honest explanation to a random bum at McDonald’s.

And you know what?

Maybe he’ll stop smoking because of it. Maybe he’ll change his life!

..Or maybe he asked out the next girl he saw in there. Who knows. The point is, I didn’t smile and giggle and run away. I told him how it was.

And on that note– My fellow females, we are typically TERRIBLE at this.  We don’t want to offend so we kind of hint at things but never really come out and say it. We people please until we can’t breathe. We’re the smiling queens of grin and bear its and the ‘yes-I-can-do-all-that-and-make-you-a-sandwich-what-I-don’t-need-to-sleep-is-for-the-weak?’

But Guys? Yeah, not so much.

And that’s not even a bad thing. It’s a wonderful thing. It’s refreshing. Guys look in the mirror and think, I look good. And then they believe it.

And I would know. I live with them.

Living with men isn’t always so refreshing. Sometimes it smells.

It’s been 4 months since I moved in. During that time, I’ve been watching. Observing. Slinking around like a cat. And of course, taking copious notes to document as I go where very few females dare to go with men who aren’t their significant others or directly related in their blood line.

I’m talking about living with boys, girls.

I’m talking about sharing one bathroom with several males.

I’m talking about Monday night football, entire pizza boxes with ONLY ONE piece left inside, Kate Upton lovin’, what is that thing in the trash, no we can’t watch Friends with Benefits again Meg, Where’s the hammer I can fix that fully fledged 24-7 male bonding.

I’m talking about….

The top 10 things I’ve learned

since I moved in with Men

By Me.. (Meg)

10. There is about a 95% chance that there is some sort of bleeding animal in the fridge at all times. 

So, shockingly, men love meat. Like they really freaking love meat. I can’t tell you how many times I have come home to find some slab of some kind of animal just chilling (literally) in my fridge. Like right next to my carrots. Like right next to MY CARROTS. I think men get off to the smell of bacon. Actually to the word bacon. Next time I want to impress a guy I’m just going to give him a piece of pig. Yeah. There’s more where that came from in my fridge babe.

9. Following that same percentage theme, there is also a 95% chance that you will come home to some form of death/violence on the television.

Yet another surprising thing about living with guys is that if someone is not being tackled on my television screen, then something is usually blowing up and occasionally someone is being shot and sometimes, the trifecta occurs and someone is being tackled as they are being shot as things blow up. It’s usually loud. Tragically, the actors aren’t guaranteed to be hot–though, there is a direct relation to the perceived male awesomeness of a movie and the amount of mustaches that the cast has. I can’t explain this. But I’ll keep doing research.

8. There is a listening learning curve and you get really good at talking pretty much for your own benefit.

Your roommates aren’t your boyfriend. They aren’t your husband. They have no emotional obligation / see no direct benefit from listening to your problems. It’s a sad, sad reality. So whereas, when you’re in a relationship with a guy, he may at least pretend to listen.. my roommates don’t necessarily always do the same thing. You could (and will)  go on a long drawn-out emotional monologue about something that’s bothering you and then 5 minutes later all you’ll get out of them is “What? I’m sorry. Were you talking?” 

Translation: Meg. Shut up. The TV is on/I am eating/ I am busy thinking about nothing/ You are interrupting.

…Got it. Roger that Charlie. I’ll just go talk to my pillow now. Sob.

7. You will live in constant fear of the potential of dying by falling into your own toilet.

It’s 3 am.

I wake up half-asleep and stumble to the bathroom. I have to pee so badly but I’m also desperately holding onto the dream that involved me, Adam Levine, and a spinning chair from the reality tv show, The Voice. Don’t ask.

Then, in the midst of my sleep-pissing haze, I have the surprising and disturbing experience of falling into my own toilet.

Does anyone know what this feels like?

Well, let’s just say Adam Levine is suddenly far, far from my mind and I am instantly very very awake and absolutely petrified of getting ecoli on my own ass. And I probably say the word “ew” at least 15 times in a row.

This situation has happened no less than 5 times since moving in.

Yes….you would think I’d learn by now. And I guess its wishful thinking that at some point, my roommates will get the message and help a girl out here. But boys.. if you are reading this.. do me a solid and put the seat down. Me and my Adam Levine fantasy dreams thank you in advance.

6. Increase of sports knowledge. Sort of. 

Yeah, I have a fantasy football league.

I have also picked every player entirely based off of their head shots. I even looked through GQ to make sure they looked good in a suit. THAT’S CALLED RESEARCH. So yes, my players might suck. But you know they look good at being bad. And they look damn good in a tie and a pair of glasses. MMMM Yeah, I’m looking at you Cam Newton.

6. Everyone says living with men means living with less drama but that’s not necessarily true.

It’s kind of  like a different kind of drama. Like watching Animal Planet. And you are a tree monkey watching two gorillas below you sizing each other up for who gets to shower first. And you have popcorn. And sometimes the gorillas move heavy objects. And you paint your nails. You are a pretty girl monkey.

Oh, and on that note. Your roommates will mercilessly monkey spam you in an effort to get you to agree to adopt your own marsupial for your backyard that you don’t have. Even after you tell them that monkeys are actually crazy and rip people’s faces off sometimes.

5.. You will begin to wonder if men really ever outgrown their need to draw phallic symbols everywhere. Also, the need to make EVERYTHING into a bodily function joke. 

My roommates are 28.

Here’s your answer:

4. Along this same line–By default, your maturity level will also decline. Try not to fight it. It’s kind of inevitable. 

2. You’ll pretty much be forced to ask them for fashion advice. 

And so if you wonder why you start dressing like a slut??

…Maybe you should check your sources.

And the number one thing you’ll learn

from living with dudes?

You’re going to be constantly surprised.

In a good way!

…Sometimes.

Because sometimes you come home to things like this:

And this:

And this..

However-Not surprisingly– off the record–I’m still a total ‘yes’ girl. I exhaust myself in my aim to please. I just can’t say no. I spend my time trying to make others time around me a little happier and sometimes that comes at the risk of my own happiness.

And so recently, I’ve been adopting a male perspective to my life in more than just my new knowledge of protein supplements and beer labels. I’m being more honest. Not in a over the top push people away with my bluntness kind of way. But in a more helpful, constructive Bro-step-off-I-called-dibs-on-that-last-hot-wing kind of way.

For instance, when I informed Alfred that picking up girls at McDonald’s probably will never, ever work in his favor. And that cigarettes would end his life.

I’ve lived in a bunch of different housing type situations before. I’ve lived in a sorority house with 75 other girls. I’ve lived on someone’s couch. I’ve lived with my parents. I’ve lived with Europeans who didn’t have a microwave. I’ve lived in dorms and apartments and houses and what have you– but living with men?

Truthfully, there’s something unexpectedly exciting about never really knowing what to expect.

And so finally,,.

If I may be so honest??

Sometimes….

I kind of like being one of the boys.

M

To my person…

I’m going to say some things that are going to break a few people’s hearts but I feel like if you don’t know this by now.. well, I can’t really help you.

Since I moved to California, a short 9 months ago, people always ask me the same thing,

“Meg, when are you coming back?”

The truth is guys, if my life goes as planned (which HA! When does that ever happen… but seriously.) I don’t plan on ever moving back to Kansas. I know that’s hard to hear, and moving on isn’t easy but for me, Kansas City represents a – very hard, confusing, sad but beautiful in it’s own way– time in my life, that I have no desire to go back to. Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of good times at my little apartment off of the plaza, maybe a few too good times but I think I can say mostly.. I spent my time in Kansas City– holding my breath for something better.

And now, I can say with absolute certainty, I made the right choice, leaving when I did. I look back and see not much has changed since I left, the same people do the same things at the same places (which is fine) but also comforting to me that it’s no longer home for me.

And it makes me think of the first time I convinced someone of ever just up and moving to California with me.

It’s the reason Dylan and I were ever roommates in the first place.

We sat in the Bourgeious Pig in the dimly lit bar drinking coffee and talking about things abstractly like maybe and someday and not really believing it but still talking about it like it gave us some direction because we NEEDED some direction. California was the answer to my impending misery that I knew graduation was going to bring me. And I remember that was the first time we really talked about it like it was a real thing.

And then we kind of got lost in our senior year. And I really got lost. By the time I came up for air, it was the day after graduation, and all of a sudden, someday and maybe was now. I didn’t plan for some of the things that happened during my second semester. I didn’t plan to get even more attached to the place I knew I had to let go of. To certain people.  But you can’t plan these things. Ce La Vie and all that shit.

I  held California at an arms length. No way in hell was I ready to move yet. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. I was staying in bed until someone removed the sheets  and dragged me to the floor.

Right after we graduated, we sat on the front steps of her porch in Lawrence and talked about our plan. I skirted the issue that I was scared as shit for the rest of my life and the clear-cut answer here was to stay as close to Lawrence as possible because ripping off the bandaid of college would kill me.

So with the somedays and maybes of California as our blessing, we moved into a postage stamp apartment off of the plaza in KC. I painted us a chalkboard wall. We got pottery barn shelves. We watched greys anatomy on our couch and pretended our lives were a little more together than they actually really were. I spent my nights in a variety of peoples homes befriending their children and eating leftovers from their fridges. I got horrible food poisoning on Halloween and was forced to be DD. I was pulled over and the officer made me do a sobriety test in my Little Red Riding Hood outfit. Dylan dressed like a carrot.

We were a family.

A sad little confused family.

But hey, it worked.

I remember the night I decided to move. It was so deliciously crazy. I was so sick of being immobile. Of being stagnant. Of being half of myself. Of waiting on people in my life who weren’t ever coming back. I’d finally hit that wall. I was ready.

But I hesitated for 2 major reasons.

1- I was pretty sure my parents were going to kill me. Hey! Mom and Dad? I am going to go ahead and move to California and be a nanny for a family in Malibu. Ok? Soooo, see ya later ok? Mom? Why are you turning blue!?

And 2- Dylan.

See the thing is, we had an agreement. We were going together. We were in this sad little weird  in-between awkward stage together! We had eachother’s backs. We had seen each other at our worst. I would say we had seen eachother at our best.. but let’s just say we knew the best was in front of us. So telling this person in my life, who had become my sister, my other half, that I was ditching her for my own thing– that was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

We didn’t talk for like 5 days. It felt like a year. But there wasn’t anything to say. I was leaving and it was selfish and painful and there weren’t enough words on the planet to explain myself. I knew I was doing the right thing but it didn’t change the fact that there was a feeling of abandonment just hanging in the air between us.

We had a final dinner at a place saturated in the color orange. It was delicious. The food.. not the color.

We were full.

And sad.

The day I left I gave her an orange pillow. She gave me a scarf. And I cried the second she closed the door to go to work. I knew it was the last time I would live in Kansas City. This place was a tomb to the part of my life I wasn’t proud of. It wasn’t the person I liked or wanted to be, it was just me trying to be someone before I could become myself. I stared at my chalkboard wall willing myself to just fall into it until I was ready to resurface and maybe I wouldn’t hurt people with my actions.

But it was what it was, and I shut the door and brought the key to the leasing office and started up my car.

I stopped at the med school and said goodbye to my friend Julia, and gave her probably the best monologue of my life about being strong and doing things because it’s her life and heartbreak and god it was right out of a movie! In reality– I probably scared everyone else in the lobby but GET TO WORK, YOU’RE IN MED SCHOOL!

And then?

Then, I really, really left.

I can’t even remember the song I listened to as I did. I felt emotionally raw. I was hopeful. And terrified.  But it felt right.

I stopped in Lawrence.

I parked right in front of the Wheel and bought a shirt. And I desperately wanted someone to be there that I knew.. but it was a Tuesday. And there was only a few people inside. But maybe that’s for the best.  Right before I left, I stood in the doorway and took it all in, in one big sweeping breath, I soaked it all up.  Because honestly, I didn’t know when I’d be back.  And I feel like I wasn’t the first person to do that. Someone else somewhere in the past has done the same thing. That made me feel a little better.

I’m going to wear this shirt the second I get to California. To remind everyone that I’m not going to forget where I came from and what I left behind. And I’m going to take a picture to prove it.

And I did.

And then I drove to Colorado. I hate that drive. But I didn’t really this time. I think it might be the last time I ever make it. I called a few people. I listened to a lot of music. I went a little crazy like I always do. I stared at myself in the mirror and thought I looked pretty good for a crazy person. I thought about Dylan coming home that night and felt my stomach ache.

Friendships are interesting. Proximity is huge. But not necessarily necessary. I discovered right after graduation that I could live in the same city from someone and never hear from them and yet talk every week with a friend who moved thousands of miles away.

I learned that in moving to California too. Certain relationships instantly died. Maybe our friendship was one of convenience and when we lost our physical closeness, we lost our reason to keep in touch. Who knows? All I know is that certain people keep calling. And those are the people you keep in your life regardless of how far they are from you. A zillion things could happen, but when you talk, you pick up right where you left off. It’s effortless. It’s easy. It’s comforting. Especially when relationships here can get lonely. It’s nice to know that person on the other end of the phone will pick up. And still care. And tell you it will all be ok. And they don’t have to physically hold you to feel like they hold a piece of your heart. They got you, You know? No matter what.. they have you.

Now, I’m lucky. I have a few people like that in my life. But one person in particular, has been my no-matter-what-friend.

Which is why I’m so happy and excited to welcome my other half– to join me in the great state of California in just 2 weeks.

You did it Dylan!

I’m so proud of you.

To my very best friend and the next adventure in her life…

M