Kristen Bryant-Thinking In A Lala College Sweatshirt

How I Have Forgiven Myself for Past Mistakes

Getting older has its challenges.

Close friends and family that you knew, or thought you knew, well change drastically as you get older.

It was much harder for me to see the changes within myself than it was to see within others.

As I navigated all the obstacles one faces growing up, the people around me changed, I met more new people, and I felt more and more lost in the simple world that I once knew.

I learned lessons that I still feel like I haven’t fully put into practice and obviously, as time went on, I began to make more mistakes, mistakes that I never forgive myself for, which led to unproductive overthinking and apprehension. 

I’ve made many mistakes, whether it be how I communicate with myself or with others, and I’ve found that it takes many tries until I finally can articulate an emotion or an issue. 

I was recently listening to an A24 podcast in which Bo Burnham and Jerrod Carmichael, both comedians/filmmakers/writers, were talking about the anxiety that young people face today on feeling a certain pressure to take a definite stance on the way they feel, or at least be wholly coherent with expressing their thoughts and emotions.

This made me think about how I have felt this similar pressure in the past.

It’s even more difficult when there are people around you who might misconstrue your intentions as you continue to make these mistakes, making them seem like errors that you cannot undo.

It’s taken me time to understand, but the fact of the matter is that we’re young and it’s normal for us to not be able to articulate how we feel, and it may be even more difficult for us to put these feelings into words in a way that isn’t taken out of context. 

But I continue to worry. When I have opened up as little as I have in the past to close friends or family, I’ve always wondered afterward if how I negatively view myself affects how they think about their own flaws, or at least how I might perceive their flaws.

This is a whole other kind of mistake that I get just as much anxiety over. 

Have I unknowingly hurt or offended others and further contributed to the subsistence of their insecurities by not being able to articulate about my own?

Whenever I have tried to help friends with dealing with their timidities, has there been something that I have said that has made things worse?

As I continue to grow and learn, I find myself a lot more conscious of how what I say can be perceived by someone, something that I will probably always struggle with. 

It is important to think about how your words and actions affect others, especially those who might struggle with themselves.

I don’t want to hurt others for the sake of me being unable to enunciate my thoughts on a certain issue or emotion; people aren’t stepping stones that I can use for my understanding of certain life lessons.

It scares and upsets me I potentially might do this and I still can’t figure out if making these mistakes are merely a part of life or just flat out things that should never occur. 

Now, the biggest thing I struggle with, amongst the things I just discussed, is finding the balance between being as honest as possible with others about how I feel and yet letting that process be as natural as possible, as mistakes are normal and censoring yourself may prohibit you from ever growing.

I know that I can only try to be better in the future and being able to do this includes forgiving my mistakes in the past.