When I was a little girl, one of my favorite things to do was tell stories. In grade school, I used to tell silly stories in class and everyone would laugh… and I loved it. 🙂 Just a bit ago, I was thinking about my childhood story telling and then it sort of shocked me when I remembered why I stopped telling stories to my classmates. The so-called “reasoning” behind the end of my story telling is completely absurd. One afternoon in one of my early elementary years, we were having story telling time. A boy in my class told a story and everyone laughed. I remember in his story he used the word “collapsed”. I convinced myself that since I didn’t use any “big, fancy” words like that when I told my stories, that they were stupid and that I shouldn’t tell them anymore.
I’ve always been my own worst critic, as we all are to ourselves. For some reason, from a very young age I have been convinced that I don’t do anything right. I have always let that stop me from doing the things I enjoy. It’s really hard for me to get it through my head that just because I might not do something as well as someone else or be the best at it, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it at all.
In elementary school I was in a “Gifted and Talented” program because I loved to write. Of course, back then I thought I was in the program because I was really weird and awkward and they were trying to make me feel better. No joke. That is really the kind of thing that my brain manages to convince me of. Anyway, I got to write for the school newspaper one year in grade school. I had my own anonymously written column called, “What’s Up?” where I got to write about anything I wanted. I remember one day I felt exceptionally silly and started my column out with something like, “Well, today is a peanut butter bananariffic day here at DMC!” or something crazy like that. The teacher who was in charge of the program and newspaper took me aside one day shortly after that and told me that some of the 5th grade girls wrote letters to her explaining that they could not stand my column and that it needed to go. Without a moment’s hesitation I told her I was done. She said that I didn’t have to stop writing my column and that I shouldn’t care about what those girls thought of it. It pretty much wouldn’t have mattered what she said at that point. I thought that because those 2 girls couldn’t stand my column, that it must be rubbish… and I wouldn’t have been able to be convinced otherwise.
Our school paper had a contest for people to guess who the author of “What’s Up?” was. They gave readers a choice between myself and about 3 of the other newspaper staff. Nearly everyone guessed that it was me… by a landslide. My kid self assumed that was because my column was no good so they all knew that I had written it. I never stopped to think that maybe it was because my column was always goofy and I was a silly girl so people just put 2 and 2 together. This self-defeating mindset is what I fight against every day of my life. Logically, I know that I am just as valuable and capable as every and anyone else. Still, those negative thoughts and feelings creep back in… and I have to knock them out. It’s like how Ruby Gettinger says she is fighting “the beast”. I have more than one beast… but I would be willing to bet that they go hand in hand. I will NEVER STOP FIGHTING!