This morning I asked you all for some extra support. I’ve been trying to decide how to respond to the outpouring of love, as well as to the avalanche of turdery. I planned out a live video. Scrapped it. I planned out a big response blog post. Scrapped it.

In the end, I realized something… I really don’t care what the turds think or say. I care about what my supporters want. And by supporting me today, you told me that you want Dan Pearce, the writer and blogger back. So I’m just going to say thank you (so much), and get back to blogging, baby!

But what led to that post? It wasn’t planned out and pre-plotted by any means.

A couple weeks ago, I actually told a group of my friends that I had decided to retire Single Dad Laughing the blog, officially, as I could not find the motivation to keep doing it with the advertising legs constantly getting knocked out from under it. Last night, I sat down to write the post that would do it. I sat down to say, “thanks for the laughs and tears and awesome discussion, see you on Facebook where we’ll have all the fun.”

As I mentioned, life is so good for me and Noah at the moment. So many things are lining up for the positive, yet I have been struggling with the feeling that I’m not all that important or valuable to anyone at all. And last night it came to enough of a head that I sat down in a bizarre vulnerable goo state of worthlessness.

I’ve just kinda been… rejected lately. Again. And again. And again. I didn’t know what to make of it. Was the universe testing me to see if my resolve to stay positive and feel awesome about life and myself can withstand the beating? Had something within me changed to make me, I don’t know… Easily (and possibly fairly) rejectable? Or have I actually even been rejected at all? Is it all in my mind?

Friends, I think it’s time for a little “rejection inspection” in my life.

Let me give you the extreme nutshell of rejections I’m pretty sure have been landing in my lap of late. I’m avoiding most details because this post could easily become 5,000 words if I’m not careful, especially since I’m writing it for my own benefit, not knowing where it’s headed. I have learned that discussing the difficulties of life openly gets some amazing conversation going, and I’m always willing to do it.

It all started with the girl. You know the one… The girl I last wrote about. Rejection. I wrote that last post, and in the immediate aftermath of that relationship ending, I kept myself upbeat, happy, and determined not to let it get me down. After all, one rejection isn’t enough to allow myself to let it affect me on some grandiose scale.

Not that big a deal by itself, but then…

Rejection. Nobody seemed to notice when I didn’t write for almost two months because it actually did affect me more than I wanted to admit. This fed into fears that I’ve become irrelevant. I shook it off. People are busy. It’s not their job to keep tabs on me, it’s my job to remain relevant to them.

Not that big a deal by itself, but then…

I went to hang out with a group of friends that I hadn’t seen in a while. We all talked about this fun summer thing we’d like to do together, and they told me they’d be sure to let me know if they ended up doing it. Rejection. I saw them doing said thing on Facebook, and nary a word about it was ever whispered to me that it was happening.

Not that big a deal by itself, but then…

A friend brought a couple lady-friends over, and we all hung out and had a ton of fun. And then… Rejection. I wasn’t even interested in either of them romantically, but one of them made it pretty clear she had no interest in me, and I found myself defending my regular friendly ways, while trying not to feel a rejection I didn’t even know should be on the table.

Not that big a deal by itself, but then…

I met someone, and I setup a date with her. Rejection. She canceled last minute.

Not that big a deal by itself, but then…

I was invited to go to trivia night with some friends. Rejection. They canceled the hangout last minute.

Not that big a deal by itself, but then…

An old friend set me up on a blind date and we had an epic double date planned. Rejection. It all got canceled just two hours before.

Not that big a deal by itself, but then…

A friend planned to come hiking with me Saturday morning, but rejection. She canceled the night before.

Not that big a deal by itself, but then…

I started talking to this woman whom I liked very much. Over the course of a week, we had one of those connections that just doesn’t happen very often, and we were both pretty excited to see each other. Rejection. She canceled. We setup a new date. Rejection again. She suddenly lost interest and canceled that, too. That was last night.

Not that big a deal by itself, but…

C’mon.

Am I covered with some sort of toxic sludge that people can only see when the time draws near that we’re supposed to see each other?

At what point do I have to stop brushing the cancellations and other things off as “it happens, people are busy,” and ask myself what is wrong with me?

What’s the magic number where it’s no longer them, it’s gotta be me?

Apparently it’s whatever number last night’s rejection was, because I suddenly found myself feeling like the world’s biggest doormat. I began feeling like nobody liked me for me. I began feeling like everyone just wanted to use me and give nothing back in return, pretty much ever or at all. And I felt like that included all of you. Every single one of you. Every single family member and friend. Every single random Rich, Bob, and Sally on the street…

Hey, I didn’t say I was even close to right, or that it was logical. I said that’s how that final rejection tipped the mental and emotional scales for me, and made me suddenly feel something that wasn’t true at all.

Rejection inspection.

Emotions are weird sonsabitches, and I have the text messages to prove it.

For every cancellation, I have a text from at least two friends wanting to figure out a time for our next hang out.

For every cancellation, I have certain people whom I see often, and whom never have canceled, not even once. Just while writing this blog post, I messaged one of them and we’ve now got plans for Saturday night.

Yes, for every thought of rejection I had surrounding my followers and my struggle to feel relevant, I have 20 uplifting and awesome messages from so many of you, just thanking me for everything I do, constantly.

How did I manage to drag everyone in the entire world into my weird sonsabitches emotions. My family hasn’t ever left me hanging. My closest friends never have. I’ve had other dates go through. I’ve had other friends over. You’ve all (mostly) been nothing but awesome to me.

Hm.

Might one say I was projecting the stinging string of rejections a little bit there?

When I sat down to quit this blog, and say, “peace out lovely crazy people, and PS why don’t you love me anymore?” is it just a teensy tiny bit possible that I was assigning my own worth in your thoughts based on what worth I was assigning myself at the moment.

Hm.

I admit it’s true.

And deep down, I knew the emotions weren’t based on facts. And I knew that I hadn’t actually been rejected by anyone. Not really. Life just happened for a lot of different people all at once. Things came up. People got busy. Summer always gets crazy. It’s as simple as that.

I wrote a blog post to retire this Single Dad Laughing blog last night. Like I said, I scrapped it.

I wrote a new one. I scrapped that, too.

And then I wrote another one (the one you read), asking for your support instead.

While it’s true that the expenses are insane for a blog like this, and the ad revenue bottom dropped out a long time ago, that post wasn’t about money for me.

It was about the rejection I was feeling.

I didn’t want to quit blogging Single Dad Laughing for any reason than that I have felt rejected by you, by me, and by certain members of my family and community because of it (for years now).

(Again, these were my emotion-clouded thoughts, and not indicative of reality)…

I felt like I gave and gave and gave some more on this blog, through the Single Dad Laughing Health Club, and through the Single Dad Laughing Quiet Goodness Fund. So much money donated to others. So much time and encouragement and excitement. And… 2,000+ blog posts. Yet, I never charged a penny. Every single post brought tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of visitors to my blog. And somehow, I couldn’t seem to beg people to buy my memoir after it was published. Or pay the $0.99 for my apps. Or order this adult coloring book.

(You are remembering these were my emotion-clouded thoughts for discussion purposes only, right? I promise I’m not guilting anyone here, because I’m certainly not having those emotions or thoughts right now.)

As I sat there last night, typing and deleting, typing and deleting, feeling the weight of a long string of rejections sitting heavily upon me, I just kept thinking, I don’t want to quit. I really don’t want to quit. I want to find that spark I know is there somewhere and get going again. But how can I possibly keep going when I get such little support? I can’t. And so I kept trying to figure out what I should say to retire this blog.

And then that little nagging voice… You know the one… It kept saying, “dude, you crazy whack dumdum. Have you ever once just asked people to support you for literally no reason but to support you? These people might just love and support you far more than you realize, and the real likelihood is that they probably have no idea whatsoever that you need the support you do.”

Oh, I fought that voice.

But eventually the voice won.

And I wrote the post.

And I published it.

And I shared it.

There was some backlash. Most definitely. How dare someone who offers an ongoing service ever ask people to support him when there are people dying in the world, or when other people aren’t having the same struggles, or when he hasn’t tried X, Y, or Z yet? Some of the comments on the blog post were so vicious that I just deleted and banned the commenters because I couldn’t take it. Not today.

Yes, there was some real backlash. It was expected.

What I didn’t expect was for such an awesome show of support to somehow drown the backlash out. Enough people donated to cover at least four or five months of server expense, and that was enough to make me feel all warm and squishy and awesome inside. Even more shared their support through words and uplifting sentiments.

I told you, it wasn’t so much about the money today. It was about somehow feeling like I offer now (over on Facebook), or offered before (here on the blog) an ongoing and positive service that was worth supporting. It was about feeling like I was both giving and getting in our big web-friends relationship. It was about feeling like I wasn’t some internet doormat whose endless effort wasn’t worth even a buck or two to those who claim to love it and want it in their lives.

Whew.

Rejection inspection.

I didn’t realize that was what it was about until just now.

And the truth is, you weren’t rejecting me. You never were. You’ve always all been there to support me through thick and thin, crazy and sane, whether I was in your face or nowhere to be found.

Is it possible I was just… projecting my sonsabitches feelings onto all of you and onto the rest of the people in my world?

Yeah. I definitely was. So, thank you for seeing through that as you read through the blog post this morning. Thank you for not rolling your eyes and writing me off forever. Thank you for showing me that so many of you do very much support me. It means more than you know, now more than ever, and it sparked the spark I’ve needed for a long time to finally want to get writing and blogging again.

Dan Pearce | The Single Dad Laughing Blog