I don’t do rejection. I do not take things in stride. I am not a gracious loser — I’m simply a loser and a bad one at that.

But in my defense, I don’t think it’s my fault. (The fact that I never think anything is my fault is completely beside the point). My point is I simply lack the necessary experience to bow down with dignity because I so rarely have to do so.

Now, don’t misinterpret what I’m saying, I’m not saying that failure is rare for me because I’m awesome at everything. As anyone who knows me or has half a brain can tell you, that’s obviously not the case.  Surprisingly, a 5’2″ weakling is not a super star basketball player, for instance. Who knew, huh?

Truthfully, I so rarely face rejection because if I’m not good at something, I just don’t do it. Obviously this is some sort of massive character flaw in and of itself, but I’m not getting into that now. If you skip the psycho babble for a second and simply look at this trait at face value, it’s pretty simple: I don’t like losing because it sucks and it’s no fun. And seriously who likes doing things that suck and aren’t fun? No one, huh? Yes, that’s what I thought.

Sometimes, though, life forces you to face rejection. It’s not pretty. Frankly, it’s gross and depressing and is basically a big, giant bummer. But when you’re a grownup (which they keep telling me I’m supposed to be) sometimes life has to be a big, giant bummer. You just have to put yourself out there to be rejected like a chump.

For instance, sometimes you just have to look for a job because you need one so you can pay your rent and have health insurance and do all of that other boring, grownup stuff they make you do. And I don’t know if anyone has ever told you this, but looking for a job sucks. It’s just one bit hot bed of rejection like a middle school dance.

Mercifully, in the job market, rejection usually comes from a safe distance in the form of polite, very short phone call or a carefully-worded email. This is obviously preferably to the rejection tactics employed at middle school dances, which rely heavily on the word “cooties.”

But even in its dressed-up, business-world form, rejection isn’t fooling anyone – it still sucks and you’ll still  hate it. However, you just have to deal with it, because that’s life and sometimes you have to be let down. At times like this though, it’s important to remember you shouldn’t take this rejection personally, no matter how much you personally hate it with a very, deep, personal passion.

At times like this your ego can start to deflate, like that tire I have been meaning to check on my car. At this point, it’s important to pump yourself up with some words of wisdom. Most writers would insert some bit of wisdom or a stupid poem by some old, dead guy here that speaks to the importance of believing in yourself or some bologna like that. I’m not doing that, because I know someone much smarter than the oft-quoted old dead guys, I know good, ole dad.

My father’s advice, albeit nontraditional, still offers its own sense of homespun charm and ego-boosting powers. If my brilliant father has taught me anything in this life, it’s that if you don’t believe in yourself, no one will. So you might as well really REALLY believe in yourself. Case in point, check out my father’s personal motto: “Everybody needs a hero. I’m mine.” Is this little nugget he repeats roughly 1,500 times a day (estimated total based on absolutely no facts) slightly self-centered and delusional — possibly, I’ll grant you some people might see it as such. I, however, disagree, I’m pretty sure it’s freaking brilliant …. maybe I’ll start putting it on resumes: “Ashley, 24 years of experience as Ashley’s hero…”

On second thought, maybe that only works for dad…