Easier to criticize someone you dislike

I thought that I had thick skin. I thought I could just tell self-deprecating jokes forever, and mute out anyone that I wanted to. I can do both those things still.

But I don’t have thick skin.

You ever tried recording yourself giving a presentation? Man, maybe everyone else is already “decent enough” at presenting, and I’m just the outlier. That’s what I’m thinking, anyways. Feels like all of the… three people that went before me did better.

I looked down on them. I thought they took too long, I thought they were too quiet, I thought they didn’t go into enough detail.

It comes back to bite me, because I did all of those things. It took 11 minutes. 11 whole minutes for my piece of shit presentation. I can’t hear anything in the recording. I haven’t even bothered to listen for more than 2 seconds. We’re supposed to “grade ourselves,” but I don’t want to hear my own voice.

Feels like I’m on the verge of “reverting.” I could go back to school tomorrow, and my lips would fuse together. Silence forever. No hands up.

The only comfort I had was “at least I’ll do better than the other guys.”

It’s 11 minutes long. It’s not “better” if it’s 11 minutes long. that’s more than two times the amount of time we had. The video is 1.33GB. That’s… more than some mobile games. I couldn’t believe it. I’m still beating myself up over this. I had all these plans about how the presentation would go. A standing ovation. A perfect mark.

11 minutes.

It’s like when Germany beat Brazil. 7-1. 11 minutes.

But I keep looking back at the rubric. And I keep thinking – isn’t this a great time to hate myself? In a good way. A good way of hating. I can see everything a lot more objectively, right? I wanted this in the first place – something that I could clearly see; something that I know I can improve on.

Mistakes are only a sign that you can still improve. There’s more to do. There’s more work. I can fix this. But the first step is accepting it.

The easiest thing to do right now is give myself a failing grade. The hardest thing is being honest. But it’s all about perception. I think of mysdelf as some delicate, porcelain figure. But I’ve grown beyond that now. I’m not going to cryh because my numbers aren’t high. I can take it. I don’t have to baby myself.

Everyone else is babying themselves. The only person I have to face is myself.

I once prided myself on being a “hard marker.”

Fuck me.

There’s always a next time, I guess. The presentations don’t end here. I was an idiot for thinking that matching colour palettes and 1mm offsets were important. I was an idiot for writing 7 pages of hastily-scribbled script.

I’ve learned my lesson. I’m an idiot, but I’ve learned my lesson. I’m still an egotistical, judgemental little shit, but I’m getting better. Even if it’s a little bit at a time; even if I can hardly tell that I’m getting better – at least I won’t make the same mistakes again.

Next time, I’ll write 3.5 pages.

I still love myself. I’ll just see my mistakes for what they are now.


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