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Throughout my life I've made choices, simple decisions about clothes or food or people to hang out with. Small decisions of little consequence. Not really worth worrying about in the grand sceme.
Now, there've been times I've made bigger decisions however. Choices that would have impact on the long term. And the worry I've always had can be summed up in three syllables. “Was. I. Wrong?”
The never ending parade of failures that came from these decisions proved that I had indeed made some sort of misstep, some sort of tactical or practical error that led to the crashing down of the tower of cards I had built.
I would confide in my friends, telling them as much as they would hear about how I did this wrong and that wrong. And not long after a pattern emerged. I was making the same mistake over and over and over, and yet I was unable to precisely identify this mistake. I spent hours studying my actions and personality wondering, “What could possibly be wrong with me. Was I not athletic enough, was I too overbearing, was I too weak?” These questions pouring through my head, eating away at the steel casing of my mind like acid.
This metal barrier that surrounded my consciousness was made from repeated failure; walls to defend against future hurt. But it seemed that they didn't matter, despite easily taking the beating it received from the baseball bats that were my failures, the steel walls could not defend against the corrosive substances that my mind produced.
With all of this going on, my mind repeated the same phrase over and over again, “What is wrong with you? What is wrong with you..? What is wrong with you.....?”
With time, months of work and acceptance, I was able to quiet these questions, to stop the burning at my sanity. And I was able to move on.
But it seems things never change as I recently have made those same mistakes. And just like that it starts again, just as bad as before, as if the pain never left. Crying and screaming at myself, I want to know the answers to the same old questions. And I start to think I've never learned, never grown up from my younger self. But finally, I realize something.
“I Was Wrong.” All along, throughout all of this pain, the choices I've made, “I was wrong.” The questions I asked, the thoughts I've had, thinking it all is important, “I was wrong.” That I never grew up, the fact that tortured me with a feeling of self-loathing and doubt, “I was wrong.”
And I realize that I will always be wrong, that we all will. Our decisions will always run the risk of hurting us. We will always make mistakes. We will always be in the wrong. But that's alright.
Because it's mistakes that teach you, positive reinforcement only goes so far. But you can always learn from your mistakes.
I've stripped away the lies that I've told myself daily and came to finally know what was wrong with me...
“Thinking that I would be anything but wrong.”