My daughter came home from school yesterday with an unhappy face and upon asking her what was wrong she said rather sadly ‘I have to get picked by a boy to be his dance partner for when we learn to dance this week and no one has picked me yet.’
Anyone know the feeling? I do.
It was in primary school when we did that whole stupid team captain thing- where each captain picked someone for the team till everyone was picked. Eventually everyone was picked except me. The sick awful feeling in my stomach didn’t go away when the captain finally called my name- he didn’t even have to say it. Everyone knew I was stuck on his team and that I was the last choice.
We all want to be picked. No one wants to be the last one left- and then someone’s option by default.
This desire started way back then and stayed through till my teens until I stopped waiting for anyone to pick me and started picking the wrong kind of people- boys to be specific. I’d pick them, use them and drop them when I wanted. I would hate the thought so much of waiting around- so fearful of not being picked by anyone that literally the company of ANYONE became better than standing alone. Of course I had no idea I was doing this but I continually did without much of any after thought. It wasn’t until after the birth of my daughter when life suddenly got a bit more ‘real’ that I stopped and realised I didn’t just want ‘anyone’ to pick me because they weren’t just now picking me- they were picking her! And she was worth more than anything to me. I didn’t realise that I had been and still was worth just as much but I am grateful that she came when she did as she truly saved me from being the girl scared to be the last one standing.
Sometimes your fears of being the last one standing run far deeper than a boy not picking you to dance with. Maybe your own Dad left, or maybe he disappointed you/fell off his pedestal or betrayed you. Maybe you grew up with a Mother who didn’t want you or love you. Maybe you never felt ‘picked’ but instead felt rejected, humiliated, abandoned and alone with those that should have picked you for the team first off. I grew up as an adopted child. The sense that my ‘first parents’ never wanted me and then feeling as though I did not belong with my adopted family just stayed with me in ways I could never explain to someone who never had this experience. I know exactly why I spent my whole till my early twenties running desperately around yelling ‘Please pick me!’ in every single way. I never ever wanted to be that last girl left standing.
But here’s what I know about the last girl standing. There’s a few of us out there standing around waiting for someone to say ‘I pick you’ and here’s what I notice about these girls. Some are fidgeting away nervously looking around, trying to blend in like a creature in the wild. These girls wear what’s ‘in’, try and pre-empt what a man wants and actually in many ways water down who they really are. For, after all, if you don’t get ‘picked’ and you weren’t really yourself then it’s not as personal is it? There are others that can’t bear to wait so they run around like crazy grabbing someone and pretty much screaming ‘Pick me’… but there are the few that quietly stand there. I see them comfortable in their own skin, authentic to who they are. They aren’t living life according to a ‘biological clock’ or by anyone else’s clock of when things ‘should’ happen for them rather they are just living one day at a time. The only way to live. To live in the moment is to say ‘I pick me. Right here, right now. I pick the best friends. I pick a career for me. I pick happiness for me. I pick love for me and to pick love means I love me.’
When you are that girl, you realize that you don’t have to wait for someone to pick you to have those things. For love has already picked you and is available to you right where you are -you actually get to do the picking. Do you pick love?
I want to leave you with some wise words a friend once said to me when I didn’t get picked for the job I had applied for and was so disheartened. He said this; ‘Sarah think about a Chocolate bar vending machine. There is how many flavours, all with colourful wrappers on and you stand there sometimes torn in your selection. Do you feel like a Crunchie bar or do you want a Curly Wurly? There are so many reasons why you select just one flavour. It comes down to taste, personal preference, the day you have had… the list goes on. But when you finally pick that Mars Bar you are making a selection. Now the other chocolate bars sitting there could see your selection as a matter of rejection however it’s not that. Someone else will come along soon after you have left and pick something entirely based on different reasons for why you picked what you did. Sure there are the best-sellers, the ones who get picked more but there is always someone with eclectic tastes who would prefer Turkish Delight any-day over boring Dairy Milk. Remember to re-phrase what you tell yourself- it’s not rejection, it’s just a matter of selection.’