Most of us can remember at least one time or another when we were picked last…or in some cases, never. And for many, those experiences can be traced back to one, painful memory of junior high gym class. Mine certainly can. But…not in the way you might think.
Let me explain.
In the sixth grade, I had a huge crush on…let’s call him “J” for now. I liked the way he snorted when he laughed at his friends’ dumb jokes, the way his hair flopped perfectly over one of his light brown eyes (give me a break, the side-swooped bangs were popular in the early-2000’s), and mostly just the fact that he was generally nice to me on a regular basis.
I know what you’re thinking: Wow, real high standards there, Leighann.
But again, this was the sixth grade, people!
To this day, I still don’t know why crushes (or if we’re being adults – attractions) make people do, say or even, think silly things. All I do know is that I was head over heels in…like with this boy. So naturally, the only thing left to do was to find out if he like-liked me back. And what better way to do that than by enlisting your ride-or-die, true blue, BFF4L-status friends?
The plan was simple: during afternoon P.E. class, I would hide out in the girls’ bathroom until my friends, tag-teaming the big ask, came back to relay that J totally like-liked me too and that we would be together 4-ever.
I can remember counting down the minutes until my friends came back. My palms were sweaty, but my heart remained hopeful. I just knew he liked me as much as I liked him, and that soon we’d be in like together, doing whatever it was that people in like did.
After a few more grueling moments of waiting, my friends walked into the locker room, an identical sheepish look plastered on their faces as they gazed downward.
“Well?” I asked them, holding my breath and bracing for impact. It took, what felt like forever before finally, their eyes met mine.
I could feel my heart shatter into a thousand pieces when my friends explained that, no he didn’t like-like me, and that he was embarrassed when he found out that I even liked him at all.
Let’s face it, rejection sucks. Being picked last or not at all is never on anyone’s wish list. The hard, plain truth of the matter is that, rejection is a normal part of life and we ALL go through it at one point or another.
But that doesn’t make it any easier to handle. Especially when you’re 13 years old – or even, 24 years old.
In life, we will all face disappointments. Whether it’s a friend choosing another person to spend more of their time with because perhaps they relate better to them, or an exciting joint-project at work that you weren’t invited to participate in, or even a seriously daft 13-year old boy who is ashamed that you even like-liked him in the first place.
Whatever it is, it’s never easy. But here are some of the things I try to keep in mind when I’m feeling like the last kid sitting on the bench waiting to be picked for dodge ball teams:
You are amazing.
Okay, I’ll admit it – this might be a biased opinion. But that doesn’t invalidate the truth that you are amazing. With so many amazing talents and traits to love, it’s a wonder why you were ever rejected or picked last in the first place.
It’s actually, seriously their loss.
Do I sound like your mother yet? Well, maybe we should give mom some credit here. She’s right. Didn’t you read that first point? You’re amazing! Anyone who doesn’t want to be in or a part of your life is seriously missing out. And the only one who’s going to end up missing out on something so awesomely great? Them.Anyone who doesn't want to be in or a part of your life is seriously missing out. Click To Tweet
Your time/person will come.
As mom always says – and don’t tell her I’m saying all this she’s right type of stuff – “…every nookie has its sookie.” What, you may ask, is a nookie? Or a sookie? To be honest, I’ve never asked. After all these year, I’ve just kind of rolled with it. But I think the message got through alright. Basically, she was saying that there is someone out there for everyone, so try not to panic or feel too down about someone not picking you. You’ll find the right guy/girl who will choose you, and only you first. And remember, “nothing ever happens before the time” – another piece of mom wisdom for you.
You are no one’s second choice.
And don’t you forget it. See very first point (again) – you are amazing. And having been gifted with such amazingness, before anyone else can recognize your worth and brilliance, you need to. And you need to know that you deserve more than being someone’s second, or third, or eighth choice. Whether it’s a friend, romantic interest, supervisor, etc. – if they make it clear that they don’t plan on picking you (with all your amazing you-ness, capabilities and potential), do yourself a favor and move on without ’em.
You might not know this, but you have always been chosen.
Truth is – you, dear one have been chosen by God, Himself. In fact, you were first in His mind when He sent His son, Jesus to die on that rugged cross for YOU. There’s never been a question of whether or not you have value or are worth dying for. You just do and you just, are.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
And you know what? I think that’s the only affirmation we really need. It’s the hope that we desperately need to cling to – and never let go of. Because someone picking you last, or not at all, isn’t a reflection of your worth or value.
God chose, no – handpicked you and so loved you that He sent His son to die for you. Truthfully, He’s never had a doubt about how amazing of a person He’s made you to be.
And sometimes you just need to remind yourself just how incredible you are.
When you are chosen last (or not at all), what things do you try to tell yourself to remind yourself of your worth and value?