HomephilosophyThe Plague of Negativity

A dark haired woman viewed from behind with her head bowed.

The other day, I went through my old school records to see if I had a physical copy of my transcript.

As I shuffled through my papers, I ran across an old letter. It was from the Dean’s office, notifying me that I had been put on the Dean’s List. At that point, I had a 3.65 GPA, which made me eligible for certain benefits.

I didn’t take advantage of them, though. Somehow, I didn’t feel as if I had earned them. Instead of even seeing the positivity, I only heard the negativity constantly thrown at me during that time in my life.

It was a rough time for me. In retrospect, I should have had therapy. I should have taken a break from school to work for a while and explore a little more of the world.

It was a downward spiral from there, until I eventually found a way out of that pattern.

Now that I have a different frame of reference, I know I’ll be able to maintain grades and finish my degrees.

Still, there’s always an undercurrent of anxiety. There’s one phrase that keeps echoing in my head:

You work hard to fail.

You work hard to fail.

You work hard to fail.

You work hard to fail.

I’ve only been told those particular words once in my life, but they sure stuck. The feelings of worthlessness were so strongly cemented in my psyche that even though I’ve begun wearing away at them that the residue will always be there.

That’s where positivity comes in.

Sometimes, I have to force it, but the only way I can keep moving forward is to adopt a more positive, optimistic point of view.

It doesn’t matter what others may think of it, or which names they may call me, but it works for me.

Still, it’s incredibly difficult. There’s so much negativity hurled around from all angles.

By that same token, that’s also why we each need to be careful how we talk to people who are obviously struggling with something. Instead of offering “tough love”, offering support may be a better way to go.

Even one poorly timed jab could last a lifetime.

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