Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blow Fish

Yesterday, I worked with a group of classmates to study for an exam. At one point, the conversation shifted to discussing the teacher and I made a comment about disliking the class. My friend, A.J. sarcastically exclaimed, "Oh really. We had no idea." They went on to list somewhat funny, somewhat awkward comments I had made to the teacher in class that had surprised them.

Have you ever been strolling along only to hit a brick wall that changes your perception of reality? That's how this felt. I was sorting through in my head all the interactions and conversations over the past 2 months that would've hinted toward my dislike of this class. After putting the pieces together, I realized it would be a incredible if they didn't know my feelings, because I've been making them pretty clear.

We'll call this teacher, Mr. Bob. I'm not proud to admit this, but it's easy to lose respect for him when I feel like he has very little respect for me. He regularly cuts me off in class, pretends to listen when I'm making a comment, gives unclear and lengthy assignments that he admits have no relevance to real teaching experience, and refuses to say, "I'm sorry. I was wrong" when he makes mistakes. I don't want my feelings and respect to be based solely on what I get from another person. I wish I treated him with love and respect because he's just human. Unfortunately, I think I've justified it because he's rude, strict, inflexible, unclear, and difficult to interact with.

The friends who pointed this out to me are friend that I respect for many reasons, one of which for bringing my attention to this. At the same time, ever since then, I've been questioning what else I may say and do that people react negatively to, but never tell me. If I missed this, what else am I missing?

This thought began the downward spiral that was today. My guard was up.
He was late because I am unimportant.
He thinks I am full of myself.
He's only saying and doing nice things to get something from me.
Those girls are giggling because they think I'm pathetic.
They are staring at me because I look like a slob.
She thinks I am annoying.
He thinks I am ugly.
He thinks I am unintelligent.
She thinks I am a dork.
He probably thinks I am exhausting.
He thinks I am needy.

or the first time in my life, I felt like a blow fish.

That's right. A blowfish. I was on guard, I was waiting to be attacked, to be judged, to be hated. My prickly skin awaited their judgment, just in case.

Instead what happened was . . . nothing. Nothing happened. No one said any of those things and I cannot verify that anyone actually thought any of those things either. What I know for sure is that I thought those things first.

Today, I felt unimportant, pathetic, annoying, ugly, exhausting, and needy. To cope, I blamed someone other than myself by projecting what they were probably feeling about me.

I took a walk and cried. Crying is lubricant for life. Sometimes you just gotta let it out and once you do, life will probably run quite a bit smoother. So I cried. I cried about my insecurities, my doubts, my long list of to-dos that never get done, and mean comments about my book. I probably cried enough for riots in Cairo and other worldly injustices just because I had plenty of tears to go around.

Now I'm dry, feeling drained, and gathering up courage to do what my friend, Chris always recommends, "the next right thing."

The "next right thing" means going home, putting on my pajamas, studying for a test, and going to bed. The next right thing never felt so good.


Anonymous said...

I appreciate your honesty; it's encouraging. I look forward to reading your blogs; they are inspiring. I like the way you think; it challenges me. I share some of your struggles. Keep doing the "next right thing". I admire you.

Joe said...

I have a suspicion that I know who this teacher is. If it makes you feel any better, I know many people who have disliked his class. Nice guy outside of class, but his teaching leaves something to be desired. It doesn't help when he tells you certain things that teachers should do, and he doesn't follow those guidelines (I've seen a few things).
You may not like the class, but you'll make it through. And, for the record, you're a beautiful girl - inside and out. Keep your chin up.

Heather said...

Sometimes the horizon looks a little...dim. I so appreciate your encouragement.

Lindsey said...

I hope today was better for you, Heather. :) I've had teachers in the past that I felt the same way about and it's frustrating, to say the least. We all have moments of insecurity and wondering what others are thinking of us- this hasn't been a great week for me either so I can relate to what you're going through. The beauty is that we get to start over tomorrow, brand new and fresh. We can't control how others behave, but I try to make an effort to work on my reactions to things and say, "Hey, this person's being a jerk and there's probably a reason behind it." Cut them a little slack, and cut yourself a LOT of slack, because you're a good person. It'll get better. :)

Emily Star said...

I like you so much Heather B! The hour and a half today was a highlight of my trip thus far. Thanks. Oh and Zumba class--THAT was a highlight of the year. :) So fun! Love EM