I used to think that in order to survive life and all the hell that entails, you just had to shut the fuck up and accept that you were stupid and a miserable speck of dust in an endless universe. Then you let yourself be tossed around and hope for the best.
This is not the best life model if you value self-esteem and mental health at all.
Thankfully, over the years that worldview has been toned down to something more manageable for my psyche. And as a direct result of not beating myself into a bloody mental pulp, I am capable of so much more than I ever have been before. Nearly every day I am moving forward and becoming more of the person I want to be.
The person I want to be is obviously in large part, a writer. If I picture myself succeeding at anything it is publishing an epically awesome novel and basking in all the accolades it would bring me. And hopefully making enough that I can devote the remainder of my mortal years to my craft.
When it finally hit me in high school that writing as a career wasn’t as easy as plopping anything I found funny on paper and then making millions, there was much despairing on my part. The reason being I automatically assumed that because I wasn’t immediately successful it meant that I was no good as a writer.
For nearly a decade, the door of writing was slammed down on me after that. It was the dark age of my life, for more reasons than this I must admit, where I had given up on ever being anything worthwhile. I was just stuck in the undertow and letting it beat me up against the rocks because I was a lifeless lump of flesh.
I didn’t realize that me stubbornly keeping at writing, in spite of royally sucking at it, that I was actually getting somewhere. Even though the bar I set for myself was so far out of reach that the Hubble telescope couldn’t see it, and I just floundered in thin air grabbing at nothing (still am even), I was demolishing all the useless self-blocks in my path to get me where I am today.
In retrospect, I could say that I was still being stupid. And look at all the times that if I had just gotten out of my own way I could be so much farther along than I am. But that thinking does no good in the end. All it does is make you feel like shit, and then reaffirms that you are. So why the hell do you bother?
Because when you think of it, all those road blocks I conquered to get here, do you honestly think any of them will ever trip me up again? Do you think I will ever go back and let myself wallow in self-loathing when I have learned beyond any doubt that I can survive anything that life has already thrown at me?
The arduous journey I took to get here sucked beyond belief, but I am a fucking force to be reckoned with because of it. And so are you. It’s like my mother says, it’s not going to kill you. And if it does, you’ll be dead so what do you care?
So be stupid, let yourself feel like shit. Open yourself up to life and where it takes you. Let it shape you and make you stronger and smarter. I can guarantee that any shame or embarrassment you may create with the journey you make will feel a lot lighter than the weight of doing nothing.