Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Making Mistakes?

By this point, I've had quite a bit of time to think about my life and what I've done with it--the kind of soul-searching that comes with losing your job, apartment, and insurance all at once, or maybe just the kind that comes with living in your childhood bedroom against your will. (But thanks, Mom and Dad, for not turning it into a gym or some such nonsense. I appreciate having a place to crash.)

There's good news and there's bad news. First, the bad. Because I have an anxiety disorder, it's very easy for me to fall into a spiral of shame and despair: what if the things I've done in the past have completely negated my chances for future success why am I such a horrible human who is ever going to accept me now, et cetera and so on.

BUT! There are hours, and sometimes entire days, when I think, "Fuck it. I know what I did, I know why I did it, and I stand by (almost) all of it."

I'm not trying to get all self-righteous here and claim that I'm infallible. Clearly that's a crap notion. Should I have slacked off the way I did sometimes? Absolutely not. Should I have yelled at that table full of undergrads about their racial insensitivity? No; I should have taken a more rational approach.

On the other hand, should I have committed myself to publishing an anthology with my own money when my bosses refused to discuss the project with me? Shit yeah. Four very deserving young women saw their work in print as a result, and I couldn't be happier. And should I have written that letter telling administrators that what they were doing was detrimental to the well-being of our institution? You bet your ass. 

This is the ultimate thing I've concluded: it's okay. I won't say that I'm happy about the way things turned out, because being underemployed sucks. But I can't spend my time thinking that I made mistakes any bigger than anyone else in their 20s. I certainly didn't do anything I regret so much that I want to die or alter my memory Eternal Sunshine-style.

Besides, sometimes boxes of Pop-Tarts magically appear in the kitchen now, and that NEVER happened when I lived alone.


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