I can easily talk about all of my failings. All of the mistakes I’ve made. All of my bad qualities, my flaws, and my weaknesses. I have plenty. Honestly, I would need a week at the least to just begin to outline all my faults. But that is not a constructive way to live my life and that is not what is going to move me forward. It is vital to know one’s weaknesses, to accept them, and to fight to be better. Always. I’ve always hated getting 100% on assignments, because there is always room for improvement. Nobody is meant to be perfect. But that does not mean we can’t try and be better.
Anyway, that’s not what today’s entry is about. My day at work was actually quite good. Everyone was nice, I didn’t make any major screw-ups, and everything went without a hitch. Except the damn fingerprinting thing, which is still a struggle. My mean coworker was super friendly (which has me wary, but I’m not one to look a gifted horse in the mouth). I also joked around with the chill manager a little, which felt like an accomplishment in and of itself. The guy is brooding and taciturn, so I’ve been trying to get a “real audible connection” with him for awhile. We’ll be best friends in no time. It’s destiny. Anyway, none of that was what I wanted to talk about. No, the greatest part of my day was something very simple and unsurprising. Eighty days after graduation, I finally got my diploma in the mail.
I know that I graduated. I took all the classes I needed to take. I got the grades I needed to get. I marched with my fellow graduates. Getting this piece of paper is just tradition. It’s really just a piece of paper. Even so, for me, it represents so much more than that. It represents the long nights cramming for difficult exams. It represents all the flashcards I had to make. It represents the group projects I had to work through. It represents the hours upon hours that I sat through classes. It represents the mentors who guided me forward, the friends who supported me unconditionally, and the strength I eventually found within myself. I posted an image of the diploma online (so sue me, I’m a humble-bragger), and the majority of people who liked it were friends and acquaintances from college. In addition to a couple of High School and Summer Camp friends with whom I’ve managed to keep in touch with. Look at that. The mute with hardcore social anxiety made some friends, after all.
When I get down and discouraged, something I do to crawl out of my cave of shame is to remind myself of all the good things I’ve done. I got through Middle School, High School, and College with mostly As and Bs (only a handful of Cs). I’ve taken on roles in theater that surprise me to this day. I’ve told people I care about how much I appreciate them to their face. I’ve kicked butt at freaking sword fighting. I’ve written some awesome stuff and I’ve read/watched so much more. I’ve struggled through depression and anxiety and I’m still here standing today. I can play an instrument. I’ve gotten knocked down so many times. And, every time, I’ve gotten the fuck back up again. That is who I am. Just as much as the not-so-great parts. But that’s for another post.
Sometimes you have to brag. Talk yourself up. Look in the mirror and go “damn, I’m awesome”. It’s not a sign of narcissism, necessarily. It’s a sign of confidence. A sign of self-respect. A sign that you know your own value. Accomplishments are something to be proud of. We’ve all had at least a few. Anyone reading has made it through today and that alone is something miraculous. So maybe I’ve got an arrogant streak to me. Personally, I like to see it as finally acknowledging my self-worth.