love. week thirty nine.

date. 2021

city. new york city

Image by Danilo Batista

November 20

 

Rejection is like having all the oxygen in the room suddenly sucked out without any warning. When it’s a person that I particularly like, the oxygen trapped in my lungs is sucked out as well. I’m left breathless.

The suddenness of the change is like a kick in the stomach.

One moment, I’m excited and energized, the next I’m lifeless and limp.

Sartre famously said that “hell is other people.” I normally understand this to mean that other people introduce complication and anxiety (and hence the possibility of sin and evil) into life. But in moments like these, I understand that people can do more than that. They can take away life itself.

Hell is where I go once I’ve died. Hell is the place where death takes place. Where life is an impossibility. Life is just as inconceivable to the dead as death is for the living. You hear about it. You watch it. You might even believe in it and hope for it. But it remains an impossibility.

When I’m rejected, the only person I blame is myself. I blame my excitement. I was wrong to get excited. In the future, I should just relax. Let things come to me. Don’t risk disappointment. When I try to build bridges, I just end up losing my balance and falling to my death. 

Rejection confirms all my worst fears.

__________

My 29th birthday is coming up and I’ve already decided to start a new project. Another year-long series, but this time the topic won’t be love, it’ll be death.

I was thinking about writing one last love post. Maybe something that summarizes what I’ve learned. Or indicates some kind of direction for the future. But on second thought, that just feels insincere and desperate. Love is a mess, and so is this project. Isn’t that enough?