This week, I’m sharing the life lessons I learned from rejection, specifically my girl troubles.
My girl troubles started early
At age 12 I loved donuts and ice cream. I also loved girls, but they didn’t love me. Understandably. I weighed 220 pounds.
My worst day? Third grade. Recess. I nervously walked up to Leslie Edwards (petite, pretty). She looked at me, didn’t say a word, and started running.
Thinking (hoping) Leslie wanted me to chase her (other boys did). So I did. But suddenly she stopped. I couldn’t pull up fast enough so I plowed into her back. We both went sprawling on the blacktop (face first) with me (remember, 220 lbs) on top.
Leslie lived through it. My reputation didn’t. My self esteem didn’t either.
“Greg the girl crusher” went without girls in grade school.
High School Challenges
By high school I had lost weight (playing football), but my skin got oily. Real oily. We’re not talking an occasional pimple. Think pepperoni pizza face.
I’d spend an hour in the shower trying to steam the pimples away, but years later I learned skin counter-reacts. Long, hot showers make faces more oily.
So my girl challenges weren’t resolved in high school.
By college (Miami University, Oxford) my skin had cleared up and my body looked great. I applied to be a Sigma Chi, where the campus babes flocked. It was the chick-magnet fraternity. They turned me down!
Why? Sigma Chis were the campus pretty boys. I didn’t have blonde hair, and I didn’t have chiseled features. So I didn’t qualify.
When you’re not getting girls in college you can’t think about anything else. Grades are irrelevant. Friends act nice but you feel their pity. You act like everything is okay, but it’s not.
Like my college friends, I was desperate to have a girl to spend money on and order me around.
Growing up I learned to play the drums (during many girl-free nights). So I found a bass player, guitarist, organist and singer, and formed a band. Without girlfriends we had plenty of time to practice and become good.
We played Rolling Stones, The Animals, rebellious stuff. I was the big mustache, long-haired, bad-boy drummer in The Maverick Band.
I didn’t get all the girls, but I got the wild ones; a college kid’s dream.
Advantages of Rejection
The lessons I learned and taught my three boys:
- Advantages can be disadvantages. Good looks and money can cause complacency.
- To bring out your best personality, pretend you’re ugly.
- To bring out your best work ethic, pretend you’re broke.
- To change the world for the better, pretend everything needs improvement.
And when you get rejected, be thankful. It will likely make you better.
“Be like a turtle – hard outside, soft inside, & willing to stick your neck out.”
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