When I was in high school, I made a very silly mistake of posting a seemingly offensive post on Multiply. Shortly after posting it, a bunch of people from my high school went ballistic. After that, I was reminded by one of my former high school clubmates to “behave.” Ever since that reminder (and incident), I started doubting myself and the skills that I have. I grew to be sensitive (and defensive) about constructive criticism, and I thought of myself as a horrible writer. I felt that I would never write again, and I would never be good enough for anything. This negative perception affected my work ethic in high school, and I grew averse towards writing. In addition, I became very unkind to myself.
Six years after that incident, I still find myself thinking about it from time to time. Even though I’ve made efforts to move past it, there’s a part of me that still remains scared. During the six years that had passed since that incident, I went through (and still going through) an uphill battle to become a better person. However, questions like, “What if they still think I am a shitty, incompetent person who can’t write and thrive creatively?” still pop in my head and keep me up at night. But looking back, six years is a long time to grow and change. Maybe the girls who went ballistic about my post have moved on and chalked up the experience to high school-level bitchiness, and here I am, still occasionally moping about it and using this experience to impede my own progress. Instead of seeing this incident as a traumatic experience, why not look at it as an opportunity for growth? Sometimes, I think having a change in perspective is important, especially during times of stuckness. I guess it is only recently that I realized that bringing a new perspective to an issue eases up the healing process. Now that I learned to see this issue from a more positive perspective, I guess it has been long overdue that I get over this little trauma of mine and move on from this incident from high school (because hello, you are practically done with school, and you seem to can’t move on from past hurts, get over it already!).
As I write this, I always have to remind myself that I am in a much better place now and that I am growing as a person, even if there are times that I feel stuck. If you are reading this, I want to tell you that things will get better, and that you can grow. Anyway, this is also a reminder that people should not be too hard on themselves, especially when they are hit by seemingly mindless criticisms by the people around them. Some people can just be total asshats, so don’t let them get in the way as much as possible. But conversely, do not be a dick when the people that genuinely care about you when they give constructive criticism. (The latter is something that I am trying to work on, by the way.)
some side notes:
I used a line from “Sideline Story,” which is one of my favorite songs of the moment as the title for this entry because it spoke to me on so many levels.