Day 204: Criticism and This Face

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I received my first hard hitting, knife straight through the heart, piece of criticism about my writing. I read it. Then I reread it and then I reread it again. I obsessed over it and made a gallant effort to see if there was any truth in it. I felt sad, surprised and disappointed. The source was completely unexpected so I think shock could be thrown in the mix of emotions as well. Ok, while I am listing emotions you could probably throw in “defensive” (freaking story of my life) at the very top of the list. Then a decent helping of insecurity popping up her pretty little bully head, too.

Two days down. Two days of missing my life’s amazing moments because of getting wrapped up in what someone else thought of me. Two days of catching myself missing out on looking up at the sky because I was too busy trying to wrangle a response out in my brain. It’s not a nice place to be and I don’t spend time here often, but when I do… I chose not to respond. I am consciously practicing self compassion right now, and if I cannot respond from that place, then maybe it’s not worth it. Also, my mom told me not too.

I battled with insecurity for most of my life. Constantly comparing and seeking validation from the outside instead of straight from the source inside. Even writing has been a space where I constantly check in about the “why” I am doing it. Why do I write? Why do I share? Why do I feel the need to post a blog everyday and write about my journey? Am I seeking some sort of approval that I have made a good life? I guess I’d be lying if I said that at least a little part of me (ok, a big part) enjoys interacting with old friends and new friends as we all learn what similar paths we swim together. As we relate and laugh at the all too familiar stories of babies, of marriages, of our own personal journeys. We ALL want to be seen. Some people play music. Some paint. Some take pictures. I write.

I can honestly say that because of this project, I finally write because I have too. Because it feels strange or off if I don’t. I write because I know that by sharing my story, I am healing and that others have and may continue to see a little bit of their own beautiful, crazy sometimes messy lives in this great big circle of sharing.

This was not my first critic in life, nor shall it be my last. I am sure it will always sting when someone openly takes what you are building and thinks that perhaps with their words they can knock you down. But, not this girl over here. Not me. Because I have a blueberry smoothie faced cutie named #sirellisroy on my side who looks up at me with those big blue eyes everyday and says, “Go on mama! Tell your story. Write your book. Follow your dreams so you can help me follow mine! And hurry up and finish why don’t you! I am ready to play!” And truly, when you get to hang out with this guy everyday, who really cares what anyone else thinks? #365things

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3 thoughts on “Day 204: Criticism and This Face

  1. Gene-Manuel Whirling

    First of all, you’re brilliant and you know you got this and nothing else matters. Keep on writing!
    That said, I always think of this Dave Eggers quote about criticism:
    “Do not be critics, you people, I beg you. I was a critic and I wish I could take it all back because it came from a smelly and ignorant place in me, and spoke with a voice that was all rage and envy. Do not dismiss a book until you have written one, and do not dismiss a movie until you have made one, and do not dismiss a person until you have met them… ”
    Much love,
    GMW

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Day 205: GRATITUDE and the Baby Proofing Continues | the #365things project

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