Hey, you! Yeah, you. Choose you.

Do you know what it’s like to be chosen last in gym class?  It’s extremely humiliating to be the last student standing there, unchosen, knowing you’re basically the leftover who’ll be thrown in with the team whose turn it is to gain a player.  That was me, a time or two. It’s such a cruel way to divide into teams, don’t you think?  On the other hand, this could very well have been a lesson for life.

Do you know what it’s like to have a “friend” snub you when they’re in the company of a certain other friend?  I do.  When I was in elementary school, I had a great friendship with one of the neighborhood girls.  She was a good friend and we had a lot of fun together.  That is, until she had a certain other friend visit her.  I remember walking down the sidewalk alone and they’d be walking down the sidewalk on the other side of our street.  Oh, how I longed to be asked to join them. They were having such a good time smiling and laughing.  But, no, that didn’t happen.  I didn’t get chosen, on multiple occasions.  You would think that this type of thing would be restricted to childhood, but I’ve experienced this same situation well into adulthood.

Do you know what it’s like to not be asked to dance?  It’s basically the pick-a-team in gym class all over again.  Except, this time, you don’t end up on a team by default.  You just end up not dancing.

Do you know what it’s like to smile at someone and not have it returned?  I can’t imagine anyone not having had this experience.  There are a lot of unhappy people in the world and some will actually get irritated when another person tries to rain a little bit of sunshine on them.  Continue to smile anyway.

Did you answer “Yes” to any of these questions?  Well, then I’m talking to you.  Guess what.  That was the other person’s choice, not yours.  But, it hurts your feelings at times, doesn’t it?  Just because they didn’t choose you, doesn’t mean you’re not worth choosing, because you are.  You are worth choosing.

When it comes down to it, we are born into this world alone, and we will leave this world alone.  Think about it.  We are the sole passenger in our life’s journey.  We’re the only one we have with us from start to finish.  Every second, minute, year, or decade.  So, don’t you think it’s time we choose to be our own best friends, first?  So, you choose you.

It is in our nature to seek out, and sometimes crave, human connection.  Along with that, sadly, comes the possibility of rejection.  I have certainly experienced my share of it throughout my life and I learned how to handle it long ago.  It’s quite simple:  I just keep being me.  Some folks will like me, some folks won’t, and that’s okay.  It doesn’t change who I am.

Although I possess a very outgoing and friendly personality, and I’m generally a likeable person, I am still often surprised when a new acquaintance really likes me.  Isn’t that strange?  I’ve been thinking about this for some time now, trying to make sense of it.  I’ve boiled it down to this:  I am genuinely happy in my own company.  There is no pretention.  I am what I am.  What you see is what you get.  I will strike up a conversation or crack a joke with anyone, anywhere.  I’m just being me.

I’ve been in a kind of solemn/inner-reflective mood lately and just wanted to share these thoughts with you.  Maybe they will resonate with the someone(s) who needed to hear them.  Enjoy your own company.  Be your own best friend.  Just keep being you.  Be happy with yourself.  This may lessen the sting of any future rejection you encounter.

And, of course, cherish the precious people in your life who chose you, too.

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