A Sinister Cycle

Who taught you to be so negative?  Where did you learn to say, “You can’t, you will look like an idiot, don’t even bother”?

I ask this of myself frequently.  Time and time again, I let a potential job opportunity slip away, or watch the shadows change on my wall, the night easing into morning and my insomnia getting the best of me.  Throwing blankets aside and blinking into the darkness, while that inside voice is yelling, “Who do you think you are?!”

Who is this sinister voice taunting me? Telling me to give up on my dreams, that maybe I would be happier if I was a person who was willing to just settle.  Maybe I want too much, maybe I am not easily pleased, maybe I think too highly of myself.

But where did I learn that I should be ashamed of my confidence? Who taught me to be this way?

After thinking about it for some time, I realized I did not teach myself to be like this, and I am blaming you.  I mean you, the person who gave up on your dreams and now you feel that it is your mission to encourage every other person to give up on theirs.

As children, we are told we can do anything – our parents coo that we will be a real singer one day, they just know it! And we truly believe it.  But then something changes.  One day maybe we meet someone who scoffs at us and makes fun of our dream.  Maybe it was even your own parents, or your siblings, or maybe a teacher or a playground peer.  The first jab, carving a small wound into your delicate being.  It is so significant, but I cannot recall when it happened. But there are times I can recall when I scoffed at someone else’s dream, unloading my whittled confidence and pain onto them.  And so the cycle goes.  Someone took a piece from me, and I turned around and took a piece from someone else.  Here we are stealing from one another, to restore a hollowness that was created by someone who was also hurting.  And what does that result in? A large percentage of the population working jobs they hate, living in cities they loathe and pursuing an education their parents encouraged.  You know what I mean.

So here’s to you, I am sorry for your pain.  I am sorry that whoever told you that you weren’t good enough made you feel this regret, and sorry you later felt the need to strike at another’s dream.  You learned from someone else to scrape away at someone’s creative inside, to leave them hollow and place your regrets on their shoulders.  That isn’t your fault.  But you hurt me, you’re hurting us.  It’s not too late to change.

And here’s to us.  To being unapologetically authentic, to getting exactly what we want out of life.

I never want to say, “I wish I would have done that”

Do you?