Would it shock you to know that in the 51 years I have been alive, I’ve done some horrible things?
No. We all have, you say?
Even though I feel like I’m living a completely different life, I still can’t shake the feeling that all my sins are going to come back and haunt me one day. I completely believe in Karma, and she is just waiting for the time when I am blissfully happy to drop the hammer on my head.
I still feel like, no matter how much good I do now, all the bad things I’ve done are going to pollute any happiness I feel.
What I’ve done
I’m not going to make a list of all the crappy things I’ve ever done. It would take too long, and I’m afraid that everyone reading this would unfollow me and block me on Facebook.
I’m not proud of how I’ve acted. I’ve lied and cheated. I have shown anger to the innocent and made evil plans for world domination. I’ve broken most of the ten commandments, laughed at the golden rule, and have basically been a shitty human being.
I’ve apologized to the people I’ve affected and confessed everything many times over the years. I don’t make excuses for my bad behavior. I own that shit because it’s part of me, as bad as it is.
What I’m doing
If it makes it any better, I do everything I can to be a better person now. I am working every day to change the bad habits and behaviors that I still cling to.
I’m still sometimes an angry driver. As much as I try to be calm and enjoy the ride - when someone cuts me off or almost crashes my car (it happens a lot here), I lose my temper and swear at them. I have stopped using my middle finger, but I still hang on to other unattractive conduct.
I still think badly about other people at times. I often catch myself reacting to their bad behavior by commenting under my breath about some physical characteristic of theirs. Nothing racist or sexist, but still hurtful. I’ve made headway in this area recently, but it still happens.
Overall, I’m trying to be more positive in everything that I do. I smile more, and when things go wrong, I look at the bright side. If someone does something I don’t like, more often than not I turn the other cheek.
It’s a journey
I know I can’t change a lifetime of habits overnight, but I try. Sometimes I get upset with myself when I revert to my old ways. Most times it's one step forward and two steps back.
I guess all I can do is be consistent with my progress and try to be happy with the slow pace. No one is perfect, and I have to realize that the unbelievably high standard I hold myself to is unrealistic. If I try to push myself “too far, too fast,” it could be harmful to my delicate psyche. I’m not saying I’m a snowflake (because I hate when that word is used), but I need to be kind to myself.
I guess if we all look in our pasts and are completely honest with ourselves, we’ve all done bad things. Some people don’t have a problem forgiving themselves, but I am not one of those people.
I hope one day I can look back on my life and realize that the good I’ve done far outweighs the bad. I hope I get to a point where I love every part of myself, and I can be proud of the things I do and say. I am nowhere near that point yet, but I see it on the horizon. I can see myself become a better person in word and deed every single day.
I guess I can’t hope for more. Slow and steady wins the race.
This story was not curated. If you write and publish on Medium, you know what that means — a quick death. If not, it just means that it won’t be promoted to other readers on Medium.
But it doesn’t always have to be like this, and this is where I add value to your life. It works like this:
We all write free content for Medium. They don’t pay for it. The money we pay to be members is more than enough to pay the writers who are making money. In return for us writing millions of words of free content and paying the writers who engage with the readers (us again), Medium forbids us from adding any more than a simple text link to the bottom of posts to promote ourselves.
If you do everything right, you get curated.
I have no problem with that. I’ve been with Medium for over a year-and-a-half, and I absolutely fricking love that they gave me a platform to earn and share my writing. I tell everyone I know to join Medium and start writing.
But, if I don’t get curated, my stories die. I don’t earn. The only traffic I get comes in is from Google, and if the people they are sending are not Medium subscribers, I don’t get paid.
But Medium benefits greatly. Every time we bring eyeballs onto the platform, Medium gains authority and in turn, members. They also get income from writers paying them for exposure by featuring them in publications and other places on Medium, even if they aren’t members. It’s a great business model.
I thank Medium for giving me the platform, and I respect them, especially when they curate me and my stories live on.
So Medium, I love you, and if you curate me, I will follow the rules and only put a small text link to my newsletter at the bottom.
But, if I am not curated, I am going to use my work to promote myself and my brand.
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