I have a confession to make:
I’m a screw-up.
A big, fat, screw up.
That is, if you listen to all my critics, I am.
I don’t eat properly. I’m too fat. I need to exercise more and watch what I eat.
My voice is too loud. I talk too much. I repeat my jokes.
I have a temper, and I swear.
I’m too opinionated. I’m too “redneck”. I’m messy and don’t put things away.
Oh, and I complain too much.
I’m too negative, which apparently makes it hard to be around me sometimes.
So, naturally, there are times that I feel I might have outstayed my welcome.
That’s when I’ll decide to tone things down a bit, and keep to myself for a while.
But then it’s: “How come you’re so quiet, Friar? Is anything wrong? How come we never hear from you?”
But those are just my personal faults. Let’s not forget work.
I chat too much. I distract people.
I don’t manage my time properly.
How come this memo’s taking you so long?
If I do “A”, I’m told to do “B”.
So next time, I do “B”, they tell me I should have done “A” instead.
I’ve been told that maybe I’m in the wrong line of work, maybe I shouldn’t be in my present position.
After which they’ll complain that I don’t seem to be enthusiastic about the project.
But I’ll get a positive performance review, and a promotion.
Then shortly after, I’m scolded again.
Like if I don’t’ take my work seriously, maybe I should look somewhere else.
But I don’t dare complain about work.
Because people don’t’ want to hear about it. I’ll be accused of being negative again.
And if I happen to feel stressed out about all this, that’s apparently because I choose to let it. (So I’ve been told).
I guess feeling bad is my fault TOO.
So, based on the popular the Critic opinion, I’m apparently a big screw-up and can’t do anything right..
But the other day, I was at a party, and I met a woman.
She was there with her family, and we started chatting.
For whatever reason, she started to tell me about her 20-year old son that she had lost just a few years ago. It was a tragic car crash a few miles from home.
She told me how difficult it had been to deal with, and all the emotional hurdles she had to overcome. Yet overcome them she did.
She wasn’t feeling sorry for herself. She wasn’t asking for pity.
I could see she just wanted to talk to someone.
So I listened.
I didn’t solve her grief, or bring her son back.
But I listened.
Because she needed it.
And in some small, tiny way, I think my being there helped her. Even if just for few minutes.
So, despite what everyone says, I know that at least I did that one thing right.
And it was that one thing right that mattered the most
And you know what? It felt good.
Maybe I’m not such a screw-up, after all.