June 23, 2008
some things I’ve learned
I have had a rough week. It was not a bad week, just excruciating.
Some crap things happened. I had a bad freelancing experience at the start of the week. The bad feeling still has not worn off.
The same old stuff happened. Did a regular job for a good client. A lot of admin stuff this week. Tried to keep up with Rags and Mags.
Some peculiar things happened this week too. It wasn’t any one thing, and I don’t want to talk specifics either. There were three events throughout the week where I made mistakes of varying degrees. None catastrophic; but all of them were hard to deal with, and my own actions made them worse.
Now I am looking back thinking I won’t do it that way again and wondering why I have to learn things the hard way so often?
Six years ago I was very socially anxious, entering fashion school. Wrong clothes, clueless and I knew it, intimidated by the other girls. I spent a lot of time alone in the library, methodically working my way through the fashion section, working in the dark archives by myself, worrying, and generally avoiding human contact.
I have changed. Now I am perceived as very outgoing, and I am. I like meeting new people, I enjoy the occasional party, I have made many friends that I am so grateful to have. I have found lots of opportunities, and tried many, a few with success. I have achieved a level of confidence I have never had before, and sometimes I even go too far and get arrogant in my ignorance.
While I am still a very flawed human being, I have managed to learn some things in the past few years. Just enough to give me hope that I can continue to improve with effort. These are all basic lessons, mostly learned by doing the exact opposite.
- Other people are human beings. They all have inner lives, feel things, eat food, sleep, think, try, struggle, make mistakes, get lost and confused, escape, suffer, strive, thrive. We are all alone, together.
- I am no big deal. Most of the world does not care about or even notice what I do or what I say, and that is okay. It is often a good thing; my gaffes go mostly un-noticed.
- Make mistakes. It is the only way I can get experience, there is no easy way. Success rarely comes the first time. Try anyway.
- Be confident. Accept myself, be myself, enjoy myself. Never rely on the approval of others.
- Make an effort. There is no such thing as perfect; but it is important to strive for the best.
- Be positive. Focus on what I can offer, not what I can take. Be creative, not critical. Cultivate enthusiasm. Pursue happiness.
- Patience. It takes time to find my voice, it takes time to develop the confidence and skill to be audacious. It takes time to get to know people. The good kind of success takes perseverance.
- Trust my instincts. I tend to over-think all sides of a situation. Yet I get my best results when I remember to listen to my intuition.
- There are no limits. There are always more opportunities, there are always second chances. Things always change.
- Keep it real. Be honest. Eat well. Sleep well. Take care of my surroundings and myself. Be good to the ones I love. Be thankful.
Simple lessons. A bit of common sense. Yet it took all my life up to now to discover and appreciate all of these insights. My life is better than it has ever been, even with all the ups and downs. I am more sure, less overwhelmed. I have a greater sense of perspective.