After years of self-inflicted agony, I have come to realise that I am someone who struggles to let things go.
I take things personally – which means that criticisms of my work and things that I screw up in end up being reflections of the blotchy and imperfect patches in my character and personality (there are many).
I’ve managed to make a mistakes this weekend that I hold myself accountable for, even though my rational brain knows that none of them were entirely, or even partly, my fault. And to then read the negative comments to the NZ Herald article and an opinion in reply that essentially paints me as being naive – these have been hard to swallow.
When I found out that the article was going to be published in a few days, I wanted it to encourage dialogue. What I really meant was for people to read into the article exactly what I wanted them to hear, and not necessarily agree with me but to understand and see things from my well-worn shoes.
But like anything in the media and out in society’s open, things inevitably are open to interpretation.
It’s been a struggle not to go on the defensive and try and correct every misunderstanding, because I know that the article is out there and no amount of ‘corrections’ will be able to retract whatever thoughts each reader first formed in their minds when reading the article for the first time. It might cause a few well-informed readers to reconsider, but then again I suspect these are the people who are least likely to misinterpret what I was trying to say in the first place.
In any case, it’s been a lesson in letting things go and growing thicker skin. I’m happy to have contributed to the topic and spark dialogue, and I am very humbled to have made an impact on those who have stepped forward to get in touch with me.
It’s a tricky balance between action and vulnerability, because to make an impact requires a certain courage to face the risk of failure or defeat. I’ve been sitting on a project idea for some time now, an idea that I am firmly committed to, but have hesitated in putting the idea into action – the chance to actually make the impact – because I know that doing so puts the idea out into the open which leaves it, and therefore me, open for criticism and to the possibility of failure.
But I suppose failure is inherent in any activity that we do in life, and as difficult as it is sometimes, we need to let go of the possibility and strive for the chance.