One of the things that I’ve felt has held me back for most of my life is the criticism of others and maybe this is why it has taken me so long to break free of the unhappiness that has consumed most of my adult years.
I had been subjected to a lot of criticism from a young age and much like a dog that has been beaten too much, you tend to find ways of avoiding the same situations in the future. As Aristotle so eloquently puts it, the only way that you can avoid the harsh words of others is to ‘do nothing, say nothing and be nothing.’
This is the mantra that I unconsciously adopted when I was younger and it’s taken me until now to figure out the failings in my thinking. I had always assumed that by becoming nothing more than a pale imitation of a person that I could avoid anyone criticizing me and making me feel small. While it was a fairly logical coping mechanism, I couldn’t see the damage I was doing to myself in the long-term.
It is something that I’m slowly finding my way out of and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the reactions of others to the changes in my appearance and demeanor. There will always be people in this life who will want to bring you down and as I expected, there have been some who have criticized me for no longer fitting the mould that is most convenient for them.
This new approach to how I choose to live my life is also something that translates well into my writing aspirations. Although I remain fully committed to becoming the best writer that I can be, I also realize that in order to do that I need to get more experience out there in the big wide world. Whereas I have spent the last few years devoting all my spare time to the pursuit of writing, I am now trying to spend a significant amount of time socializing, widening my circle of friends and perhaps finding a nice man to settle down with….
Now that I am in a better place to deal with criticism, I will not be afraid to do the things that I want, say what I feel is right and be the person that I choose to be. This should not only make me a happier and more well-adjusted human being but a better writer as well.