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Monday, May 13, 2013

Dear Self

Day 13, a public apology.  While most I've read are public apologies to significant others, slighted best friends, or the mailman you just love to hate, my public apology is to myself.

I think generally, as humans, we are too hard on ourselves often.  Far too often.  It is good to be hard on yourself to a degree, for its how you learn to grow and overcome obstacles and learn from mistakes.  But I'm hard on myself all the time.  ALL THE TIME.  If I'm not so great at something, I feel like I'm failing as a human being.  A few weeks ago, I really wanted to try making these buffalo chicken meatballs I found on Pinterest (if you give them a shot, let me know) and I was convinced that I could take one recipe, which required attention and the oven, and mix it with another recipe, which only required my crockpot, and make magic happen.  (Obviously, I've been watching one too many episodes of Chopped.)  They turned out to be steamed balls of chicken mush which made our entire apartment smell like Frank's hot sauce to the point where I now smell it and my stomach turns.  I was so upset that I failed at it that I cried.  I cried because they did not come out right, I cried because I was hungry, I cried because ground chicken is mighty expensive, yo.  And while dutifully throwing out the hot-sauce-chicken-mush, Charlie kindly reminded me that no professional chef got to where they were without burning a few dishes here and there, and he's right.

So, here's my apology:

Self, I'm sorry I'm so hard on you sometimes most of the time.  I'm sorry that I want you to succeed at everything you try, because when you fail, you get hysterically upset and its kind of exhausting.  You're allowed to fail!  You're allowed to make mistakes.  Like you now know that baking in the oven and using the crockpot are two totally different things.  You learn so much from mistakes, and I'm sorry you struggle to embrace that.

I'm also sorry that I didn't listen to you more in the past, like the time you really wanted to do a semester abroad but let fear of losing a boy keep you in the states.  Or the time you wanted to try something new but were too afraid.  I should've encouraged you to give it a shot, even if it was just to learn you didn't like it at all.

I'm also sorry I didn't take better care of you in the past.  I don't always listen to what you're trying to tell me, and I should.  I don't let you communicate what you want, what you need, or how you feel, and sometimes I let you pretend it doesn't matter.  But it does.  It does matter.

Self, I want you to start doing new things.  I want you to try new things without fear of failing, being judged or maybe even the fear of being successful.  I want you to realize you're allowed to try something and not like it, and you're allowed to change your mind, and that's okay.  I want you to realize that if you make a mistake, take a deep breath and move on.  The world is not going to implode if you screw up.  And, finally, I want you to start communicating more.  Catch up with old friends, communicate your worries and fears, and talk it out when you feel you need to - you always feel better after you do.

I'm sorry that some of our years have been rocky, but I am going to work harder at cutting you some slack.  I hope you'll forgive yourself.

Love, me.

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