Tuesday, October 13, 2015

#TuesdayAfternoonWisdom


There was this kid in high school, you probably know him- or a him just like him. In literary terms he represented my high school foil character. He was in all the honors and AP classes, he was super ambitious, and mostly he was also an aspiring writer. He was also someone who was “highly intellectual” and “highly aware” of that fact. We crossed paths several times throughout high school. I can say with absolutely certainty that every time I was “graced with his presence” was a negative experience. He was always someone who knew exactly how to make me feel completely less than. 

My college choice wasn’t good enough.

The books I read weren’t high brow enough for a writer.

My writing was never deep enough.

My outlook on life was juvenile and unacceptable.

I have no doubt that he made me feel less than intentionally. Looking back I’m not sure if he was arrogant towards me because he actually believed these things or if he believed the opposite and was actually threatened by me. In my high school mind it was because I was most definitely less than.

Seven years after high school ended I walked into a college classroom, having not thought about him in years, and moving from these feelings to battle other demons, there he was sitting in a desk in the back of the classroom. At first I thought it was a joke. Maybe he was a professor or a teaching assistant. Certainly based on my memories and perception of him he couldn’t be just another student taking classes and a little known college like me.

I did what every millennia does when faced with this situation- I turned to the interwebs for information. What I learned was that Mr.Wonderful actually did not accomplish all the wonderful things and that he admittedly hit some rough patches in life. While I’m not reflecting and writing this piece to critique him life journey and struggles I do want to call attention to the concept that how other people make you feel means nothing. He may have once been “the smartest man ever”…in high school, but now who was the real winner…or was there a real winner.

Without sounding arrogant with a laundry list of accomplishments I’ve done and seen a lot and almost every goal that I’ve set for myself I’ve at the very least TRIED to see to fruition.

I’ve been a published writer.

I’ve created a successful blog that was the vehicle that allowed me to interview, photograph, and meet most of my idols.

I’ve collected an awesome selection of people who have brought amazing experiences to my life.

I was the first person in my immediate family to graduate from a four year college.

I’ve learned how to take care of my mind and body.

I could continue this list. I could elaborate on any of these ideas, but I don’t think that it’s necessary to make my point.

I’ve spent a lot of my life listening to the negative critiques of my life. I’ve spent a lot of time giving others the space to make me feel less than…letting their words and actions resonate with me. Seeing this person who used to be so much “better” than me on a very definitively “equal” level is such a powerful semi colon between giving these people power and realizing that they have no real power at all. That instead I have all the power to do, to feel, to live my life.