After spending a week at MVP Summit with old and new friends, I feel energized. My brain has been refilled with lots of happy memories 😊
And one not-so-happy memory:
I just left karaoke crying after being booed off stage by a stranger. Years of bullying came flooding back in seconds, killing all confidence I've finally built up. I'm ashamed of not handling it better, but thankful I have friends who care. Don't be that stranger. Be kind.— Cathrine Wilhelmsen (@cathrinew) March 22, 2019
One. Just one negative experience during an otherwise fantastic week. One negative experience that objectively really wasn’t that big of a deal, followed by an absolutely overwhelming number of replies full of love and support. (Thank you 💙) And yet, this one negative experience has dominated my thoughts and feelings for days.
It’s easy to say that I refuse to let one stranger and one negative experience take over and push my happy memories away. Actually doing it is a whole different situation. No matter how determined I am or how much support I get, dealing with an experience like this is never easy for me.
I have trained my brain for many years to respond in a certain way, to gnaw at the negative even when it’s surrounded by positive. That habit does not change overnight just because I want it to. It’s something I need to actively work on to improve, and that requires determination and effort over time.
Writing is my way of dealing with things like this. Structuring my thoughts, describing my feelings, and reflecting on why I reacted the way I did is all part of my process.
But why are you sharing this publicly?
I’m very aware that my social media accounts are mostly highlight reels. I choose to focus on the positive things in my life, and so what most people see is the happy, bubbly, super excited version of me. I wish life was like that all the time 😊 But it’s not. Most days are not. Some days, you get flat out told that you suck, and instead of being strong and brushing it off, you end up crying and withdrawing from everything and everyone.
And that’s ok. That’s life. We’re flawed, and if we weren’t flawed, we wouldn’t be human. But being human also means we have choices. We can choose to take responsibility for our own feelings, get back up, try to learn from our experiences, and keep going.
Writing helps me. If I can also help someone else by sharing this publicly, whether it is helping one person understand why someone can react strongly to something seemingly small, or showing another person that they’re not alone in experiencing similar feelings, I will count that as a double win 😊
So what happened?