November 11, 2015

What I've Unlearned

When I was working with kids, I've noticed something. I've noticed that the older the students, the more fearful they are in the classroom. Of learning. Of putting themselves out there, making mistakes, and doing it differently next time. My point: there's a ton of stuff I learned growing up that I'm spending my 20s trying to unlearn. Didn't Picasso say something insightful about how it takes a very long time to become young? Related: we teach ourselves our limitations, you guys. I started to write the following manifesto as a notebook entry, but to hammer it home I wanted to make a public declaration of it. (Don't I always?)

Here's what I'm unlearning:

Life's hard
You have to fight for what you want. It's not designed to be easy. Prove yourself. Urgh. My new year's resolution for 2015 was to do more of what feels good, and less of what doesn't. And you know what? It's awesome. And that's because life wants me to be happy. Life wants me to pursue my dreams, and see the magic in the everyday, because the universe wants to be noticed for the glorious work that she does. We notice the presence of the divine by personifying love, by leaning in to what feels amazing for as long as it gets us off. What if I believed that I deserve every lovely thing that happens to me?

Chase facts, not feelings
Nope. You know what facts do? Distort the truth. There's not a single statement that can't be justified with a percentage or statistic or number. We prize numerical data above all else because we can quantify "facts", and feelings are slippery little devils that change and alter, that can't be "proved". I don't have to see something to believe it: I can see it if I believe it.

Being alone is lonely
How many times must I learn the lesson, that I feel one thousand times worse spending time in the wrong company than I do if I pass the time in that of my own? I recently declared to myself that for any social occasion, I'll only go if the thrill of it outweighs the thrill I feel of being at my desk writing or reading: my happy place. That means my social life will shrink exponentially, then, and I have to be comfortable with that. FOMO (fear of missing out) is for the insecure, and I have to be determined to find peace in my own (much less busy, much less outwardly interesting) path.
(Shockingly, I'm applying this to fellas, too. You don't need to have a romance in order to have a romantic life, said a very wise woman. I hear that so hard.)

Likeable girls are modest
This is absolutely the hardest non-truth for me to navigate. Oh, how I want to be liked! LOL. I consistently talk myself down, making jokes at my own expense (getting to the punch line before anyone else can), so as not to appear threatening. But actually, I'm a badass. I'm smart and kind, self-aware and determined. I'm a good person. But beyond that, I have talent. I can write. I'm over the moon about that. It makes me wonder: What would I do if I wasn't so afraid of what other people think?

Disagreement is bad
I find comfort among those who agree with me, but growth among those who don't. Not seeing eye-to-eye with somebody is where the good stuff happens, and I wish I could be braver about that. See: stop trying to be so likeable. Furthermore: I am enough.

Screwing up is failure
You know what? My mistakes have taught me so much that I'm thinking about making a few more. The only failure is not trying. Failure is not trying again, when that 1st attempt didn't work. Failure is fear. And fear is a learned state. It's the flawed, imperfect, mistake-riddled path that leads to the best games adventures


  1. Very well said! as a swim instructor for children myself I found related to this article very much! In that when one understands the social underpinnings of normative behavior seen in children we can use such to revise those same perspectives that had influenced us, and in essence restricted our true authentic and creative nature!

  2. What a great post!! It feels like I'm review myself again..and I really like your writing...u r very talented...not like me...huhuhu well, everybody have their own talent right?....hope to see more from you...keep it up....(^_^)


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