R-E-J-E-C-T-I-O-N

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything. I’m sorry about that, friends. It’s literally been a whirlwind of a past couple weeks, at least since May 30th.

Here’s a quick recap:

  1. I was co-best man in my best friend Jake Holland’s wedding down in the great state of Georgia.
  2. Next Level lost power for a week, so we had church online.
  3. My “sister” Hattie got married this past weekend.
  4. I saw Jurassic World. And loved it.
  5. I joined Periscope.

That’s a pretty good overview of the last few weeks in the life of Jacob Ray. But I want to zoom in on one event, or set of events really, that I didn’t mention.

I had to get my car inspected.

Ew. Just typing the words make me anxious. The whole process is really annoying, which you understand if you operate a motor vehicle of any kind. Usually, it’s a simple drop-off to the inspection station, have a co-worker pick you up (or sit there while they inspect your car), go back when they call to tell you your car passed, and pay $16.

Usually.

Not this time though. Back in December, before I moved back to the 757, I backed King George into a fence post at my apartment. I was super mad at myself. It broke the tail light housing and cracked the bumper, but I was sure that since no lights were broken, I would be fine.

Boy, do I wish December-me knew what I know now.

I got a call two Tuesdays ago from Eric’s, the auto shop I use, that went like this: “Hey Jacob, your car is ready. It didn’t pass inspection though, since your tail light is busted. Get the tail light replaced and then come back to get it re-inspected.”

Ugh. I dreaded hearing that statement.

Even worse, I had to drive around with a bright pink, “REJECTION,” sticker on my windshield.

If you know me, you know I hate rejection. In any form at all. I don’t care if it’s in a game of pick-up basketball, which I am terrible at by the way, and my shot gets blocked, I get super frustrated and once again confirm my hatred of rejection.

And since I can’t keep things at a surface level ever, I began to dig deep inside of myself once I received this latest piece of rejection.

If I fix the problem that caused my car to be rejected, when it gets re-inspected, it’ll pass the test.

Normally, this is the logic that I follow when I get turned down by the opposite sex. “If I fix what they think is wrong with me, then they’ll see and accept me and want to be with me.”

But when has this ever worked? It didn’t even work when I changed certain ways that I conducted myself when I was dating my college girlfriend. Spoiler alert: she broke up with me anyways.

This whole “fix the specific problem to avoid rejection again” thing only works in the automotive industry. It never works in relationships, whatever level the relationship is on.

Sometimes, we just have aspects of our lives that don’t need fixing. They’re what make us “us.” The small little quirks about us that are unique to our personalities. And if we take those aspects away and try to fix them, we stop being who we are as a result. Just trust me on this one, I’ve been there, done that, and have the scars to prove it.

But sometimes people come into our lives who say, “Yeah you have quirks and some weirdness, but I think it’s kinda cool. I don’t see a problem with it.” They accept the personality traits that others saw as problems, and actually enjoy them.

Truth be told, I’m still waiting for that person to come into my life. I’m still waiting for someone of the opposite sex to accept my quirks and weirdness.

And that’s okay.

Life isn’t all about fixing everything for re-inspection and reinstatement; sometimes just accepting that we’re unique is all we have to do.

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