Blogging · ChicModa · SL Survival Guide

178. How to… learn from your mistakes.

I think one of the most important things I learned from the dumpster fire that was 2020 was this: Sometimes, you’re going to screw up. Sometimes, the world is just going to kick you in the face, and no matter how much you scream about it or how loud your tantrum is, there’s nothing you can do but sit back, accept it, and then move on. I learned this the hard way… and the funny thing is, it took me multiple times getting slapped in the face with a metaphorical brick to realize that no matter how hard I tried or how nice I was or how much I did, no matter what my circumstances were, no matter how I attempted to prove myself… it just wasn’t going to be enough for some people. I call myself stubborn a lot because I am, but I learned that sometimes, there are simply things, events, and people that you can’t be stubborn over. You can’t help everyone, you can’t please everyone, and you can’t fix things that are broken if you don’t have the right tools to do so. And you know what? Sometimes the tools don’t come with instructions, or the manual is in every language except the one that you speak, so you find yourself up a certain very smelly creek without a paddle anyway.

And this is the point at which you have to take a deep breath and walk away.

I did that a lot in 2020. Not because I’d given up or because things were too hard, but because I valued myself too much to let myself continue to repeat the same patterns and hope for different results. That – as we all are well aware – is nothing but the definition of insanity. I had to learn a lot of self love last year, and sometimes, that’s a hard pill to swallow. Sometimes, realizing that nothing you do will ever be good enough or matter in certain situations is a kick to the gut… but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. Usually, that means there’s something wrong with the situation, and it’s time to clean house. I finally did that last year after making the same stupid mistakes over and over and over and over…

…and as hard as it was at the time, I came out all the better for it. I came to realize that I was working too hard for people who were never going to reciprocate that effort. That I was punishing myself for things completely outside of my control. That I was letting some of the worst moments of my SL and my RL creep into the deepest corners of my mind. I was beginning to think that they defined me, that I was made up of them and that my only course of action was to accept that and continue down the path toward my own mental, social, physical, emotional oblivion.

But as I found out… I was wrong.

I realized something new tonight that plays into this same school of thought: I’m still – at least in some ways – making those same mistakes. I am about 200% happier than I was, but I’m still dusting off the aftermath of crawling out of the hole I was in last year. I’m looking toward the future, but I’m also still trying to jump hurdles and bend over backwards for people who literally don’t give me the time of day unless they want something. I’ve done it with my own family for years and cried myself to sleep on more than one occasion trying to sort out where I went wrong. Why does my dad not speak to me? What did I do to him that he pretends I don’t exist? Why, no matter how much I achieve, do certain members of my family always find some way to put me down? Why do none of them respect my boundaries? Why is everything I do and everything I want for my life somehow less important than theirs?

It has taken me 33 years to realize that… well… that’s some bullshit.

But you know what? I find myself making that mistake again, except in Second Life. Why am I bending over backwards to help people who can’t even bother to say hello? Why do I care so much about people who literally don’t speak to me unless they want to complain about something I’ve done, or something I’ve not done, or something they think I should have done had I possessed the psychic ability to figure out they wanted it in the first place? Why am I trying so hard to set a good example for people who obviously don’t know me well enough to realize who or what I am? Why am I allowing people to whom I don’t matter make me feel like I am not doing enough for them?

I’ve been through a lot in the last year-and-some-change, and during that time, I could hardly even focus on myself because I was so wrapped up in what I could and could not do around other people. I was walking on eggshells and drowning in the negativity and the underhanded remarks. I was told I was a lousy friend, a bitch, a c*** who only thought of herself. I was told I dropped the ball, that I couldn’t be trusted to finish a task. I was dressed down by some of the same people who would ask if I was okay and then show me in no uncertain terms that they didn’t really care what the answer was, anyway. And yet I still kept trying and trying and trying because for some warped reason I hated that I had disappointed them some how. I’d brush it off and make excuses for other people because obviously there was something wrong with me, so I was just supposed to deal with it. Right?

No. That’s some bullshit.

The thing is… it’s not good enough to simply acknowledge you made a mistake. If you don’t learn from it, you’re doomed to repeat it. History has taught us that. Just look at it for a second. We’ve been killing each other for millennia, putting people in kill-or-be-killed situations, letting people starve and hurt and be hurt… and yet we continue to wonder where the kindness has gone. We continue to look for solutions to problems we will never allow ourselves to understand, because doing so would mean admitting that we did something wrong, and for some reason, so many people seem to have a problem with that.

I am not going to be one of those people. I’ve seen the mistakes of my past. I see myself making those same mistakes again. I see myself letting myself get upset over things and people who have no clue what’s going on in my life because they haven’t bothered to ask me a question outside of what I can do for them… and I’m not going to let it happen anymore. There’s less than a handful of people on my friends list who actually say hello to me anymore because they genuinely care about me as a person. They know what’s going on with me because they ask, even though every single one of them is dealing with their own stuff. They show me concern and make me smile and build me up every single day. They show me unconditional love. No eggshells, no whispers, no judgments. They let me be me. And I love them for it more than words will ever be able to convey. And from now on, that’s what I’m going to focus on, because as hard as I’ve worked to find my happiness, I’m not going to let anything else or anyone else rain on that. I’m going to learn from the mistakes of my past, not just because I don’t want to repeat them, but because I deserve to be happy and feel like I am valued and feel comfortable in my own skin, virtual or otherwise.

Credits:

[Shape]mine
[Head][LeLUTKA]Irina
[Body][The Shops]Legacy Mesh Body Special Edition (1.3)
[Skin][Go&See]Hope (Buff)
[Brows][Gloom.]Lexi Perfect Brow
[Lips][Suicidal Unborn]90s glam lipstick
[Dress][ChicModa]Mirabelle (HW release 3/11)

[Tune][Sia – Chandelier]

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