Tag Archives: encouragement

My Teacher Was A Bitch (Or, Dealing With Unsupportive People)

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So, I’m a creative writing major, and this summer I was in one of the intensive workshops for crafting the short story.    I went in bright and starry eyed and excited to make stories that made people laugh and smile (That is after all, what I want my writing to do).

For those of you who don’t know how writing workshops go, let me explain.  You’ll write a story, and then hand it in.  The next week everyone comes back after they’ve read your story and they spend an hour telling you everything they liked and hated about it.  It can be a horrible depression moment if you find out you’ve written a bad story that had plot holes or unclear meanings.

 

So anyways, the second story I wrote for the summer was one that was really close to my heart.   I talked about growing up, and all the bad things that happened to me, and I interwove those flashbacks with a story about how I once had to take care of a dying manatee in Florida (true story).   The story hinges around the fact that a really cute guy was paired with me to take care of the dying manatee.  Me and him ended up becoming friends, and I kind of maybe had a crush on him, and it was the first time a straight guy had ever talked to me in my life.  I was shocked that an attractive straight male would ever talk to me.  It really brought me out of my shell!   So, the whole irony and humor of it is that as the manatee was dying, I saw myself finally starting to live.

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Basically, the entire class said they loved the story.  They loved the imagery of the dying manatee, and the contrast between it and my life, and the humor of how sarcastic I was able to remain despite being next to a rotting manatee.   My teacher however, didn’t.

 

She was like… well I feel like you shoved a happy ending down our throats… I didn’t like that.   Now, it should be noted here that my teacher is a self-proclaimed “high brow” writer (though unpublished…cough cough…)  She doesn’t like stories that create happy endings or morals and stuff…”thats too mid-brow” she’d say.  So things like The Help and stuff drive her crazy and she thinks thats all crap.

 

Anyways, so long story short, she just constantly put me down, and it really hurt.  However, now that the semester is over, I’m starting to look back with a more clear view of my writing.  I’m actually very proud of my story, and I everyone in the class, besides my teacher, praised it.

SO WHY AM I WRITING ABOUT THIS?

Well, I think we have a tendency of focusing on the negative, rather than the positive.   So why was I letting the voice of 1 mask the voices of 15?  Granted, she was the teacher, so maybe she “knows more”, but i mean she self-proclaimed to be someone who hates mid-brow, so can I even trust her opinion?  …Probably not.

 

So the point here, don’t let negative people put you down.  You’ll never win with 100% of the people you encounter in life.  Sometimes we just gotta let shitty people be shitty and get on with our lives.   It hurt a lot to have her bitch nonstop about my writing (I met with her in her office hours to discuss further, hoping to try to reach common ground….didnt go well, she literally didn’t even want to help).

ANYWAYS,  We all need to gain a heavy dose of self-belief.    I know how hard it is, trust me, I felt like shit after walking home from that workshop, and I felt even worse after walking back from her office hours.   But I can’t help but believe in my writing.  I loved writing this story, and I loved sharing this story.  And even her bitching and moaning can’t bring me down.

She was…hmmm… well, let’s just let the gif speak for itself…..

bitch

 

 

I’m actually starting to believe in myself, and that feels fucking amazing.  I hope everyone out there can feel a bit better about themselves.  And if someone out there is learning to feel better about yourself and/or believe in yourself, what are some tips or tricks?  Feel free to talk about it in the comments, I’d love to hear!

 

~ The Dark Horse

 

 

 

What The Little Crippled Girl Did To Me

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She broke my heart.   Thats what.

I have a weak spot.   If any of you decide to become a super villain and want to take me down this is it; bring me handicapped children.    I break apart and I can’t help it.

I can never seem to find my happiness or my dreams in life and I have a way of getting completely lost in my mind and my regrets of the past and fears of the future and how Ive messed up everyt…..

…wait who is that?

Do you see her?

It’s a little 12 yr. old girl.  Smiling and laughing and talking with her brother and her mom.

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Im at work folding some clothing, thinking about how terrified I am about my upcoming trip to New Zealand and how afraid I am that I will collapse under the pressure of my anxiety and depression when i notice her.

She is moving like her bones are all out of place.  Even though I can’t see her body because its blocked by a rack of clothing I can tell by the way her head and shoulders move that she is in braces.  There is no other way she could support herself what those motions.

They approach me and her mom asks, “Do you sell polos? We need a few”.

I can’t take my eyes off of her.  I want to give her my blood or my good bones.   I can’t handle seeing children who have already been broken by life.

“……yes.  Yeah, right over here”, I reply.

“What do you guys need polos for?”

“I’m showing animals at the county fair coming up” she says.

…..Yes.   Thats right, this adorable little girl is going to take her animals around in front of a crowd of strangers at the fair even though her legs are mangled and broken in a million pieces.

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I walk away after showing them the polos.  I am silent.   Lost in thought.   Unable to focus on anything except for howfucking brave she is and what a fucking pussy I am.

Look at me!!!!! I AM HEALTHY.   I AM A 25yr OLD HEALTHY YOUNG MALE 

I wake up every morning fearing that Im going to have a panic attack, or develop some disease, or die, or never find happiness.   And this girl wakes up, and hobbles out of bed.   She struggles to the bathroom, limps down the stairs and keeps her fucking smile the whole way.  A little 12 yr old girl.

I am a complete pussy compared to her.

So what is the lesson here?

Well, there is hope for all of us.   For anyone like me who is still able-bodied, YOU HAVE ALL THE HEALTH AND STRENGTH IN THE WORLD TO MAKE YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE.   DONT LET WHATS IN YOUR MIND GET IN YOUR WAY! 

And to anyone who is like that little girl and struggles with a disability:   You are such an inspiration.  And I’m not saying that in a sappy fake “oh you’re a cripple so I need to say that” type way.  My heart genuinely breaks whenever I see your strength and courage and ability.   But that heartbreak also makes me better and needs to happen.  It puts life into perspective and helps me remember what is actually important in life.

To everyone out there who struggles with the weight of the world, whether it be physical or mental, We Are All In This Together and I love all of you 

~ The Dark Horse

Denali National Park in autumn, Alaska, USA, North America