I paid for the chocolate lollipop with my own money, undid the wrapper and wrapped it up instead in fancy tissue paper, complete with a ribbon. Since we were in separate classes in the fifth grade, I asked a friend in his class to put it on his desk for me.
The next day – Valentine’s Day in 2004 – I waited, eager to hear if he knew who his “Secret Admirer” was. It turns out he did. My friend told me he promptly threw the $2 lollipop in the trash can. (The funny thing is, we’re currently attending the same university.)
Every girl, it seemed, had boyfriends in fifth grade. Being very impressionable, I, of course, wanted one too. My second bout of rejection hit later that year, when I asked my now-best friend “out.” He said no.
I never attempted anything with my sixth grade crush. I knew I didn’t have a chance. (He also attends this same university.)
It was seventh grade that the real crush of my younger years developed. I fell “in love” with him. I asked him to be my boyfriend more times than I could ever possibly remember.
He rejected me every time.
He, much like every other male in my grade, had his eyes set on one particular girl. This began my self-esteem issues. I became as depressed as a 13-year-old can be whose long-time crush just won’t give her the time of day.
Thus began the gothic phase and the obsession for a brand called Emily The Strange. My wardrobe consisted of black and camouflage with a bright-red hair color to provide a drastic contrast.
But then, funnily enough, in ninth grade, my long-time crush decided he liked me back. He “asked me out” after homecoming while our friend jammed out to the earbuds in his ears on the couch next to us (gosh, I miss you…).
We dated on and off throughout most of high school. He rejected me, then I rejected him. Yada yada yada. It didn’t last.
But, here’s the funny thing about rejection in any aspect of life: it may not seem like it at the time of rejection, but a lot more good will follow than bad. When you’re at the bottom, all you can do is go up.
I went up higher than I ever thought possible. And I found the best guy a girl could ever ask for.