Saturday, June 14, 2014

Brush Your Shoulders Off:

Hello all!

I've always been quite intimidated by the idea of criticism. I've been lucky enough to rarely receive much criticism (aside from bullying) that hasn't been of a constructive nature. However, I've recently come to realise that I kind of thrive off criticism - the kind that isn't nice or constructive. It makes me feel very energized and alive. Maybe I'm just a freak, but to realise how little of an effect it has on me and my life has become a really empowering notion.


Knowing that I'm not afraid of criticism, that instead of blushing red and closing my mouth I have the ability to laugh it off or discontinue an argument because I understand the lack of knowledge of others and the bigotry in the world, has become a weapon that makes me feel braver. It makes me want to sing and dance and throw my head back in laughter the way I used to when I was a much more confident person (years ago...).

To know how little it hurts me makes me feel like I have built a real place in the world for myself, one that I am drawing closer and closer to, making more cohesive and building more permanently every day. I have spent the last few years working hard at changing myself, at trying to understand the world around me more, and I feel I'm finally in a place where I can pass the things I've learnt on, even as I continue to learn more everyday.


I feel like one of the major things I've learnt in the last few months is how to treat criticism in my own head. I wrote a small piece the other day on the train coming back from uni:

Learn to take criticism, learn to recognise it as unimportant and small - like those who offer it. Brush your shoulders off (like Jay-Z taught you) and continue with your day. 

Remember the reasons you share and how important it is that you continue to do so. Remember your message, your fight and the world outside of those few people who disagree, who want you to think on as small a scale as they do. 

Remember the love you feel on your best days; take that and ball it up, keep it close to your heart. 

"But I don't know how" you might say, but you do, I say. The world taught you to be harsh, to hold onto guilt and anger, but inside guilt, anger and fear there is good. You must be willing to sift through it all to find that it doesn't affect you.

You are already brave enough to exist, now be a little braver. Step outside your comfort zone and be brave enough to live entirely as yourself, to not care, to not obsess and over-analyse, be brave enough to not identify AS your fears. Be brave enough to let them go and let new things in.

I don't want to analyse the piece too much, but feel free to leave a comment asking any questions if you want :)

The line that I think means the most to me is, 'be brave enough to let them go and let new things in'. New often equals frightening, but I think it's really important to move chaotically through our lives, accepting each new day and new experience as just that - something new. When we can apply old lessons to new experiences yes, I suppose we should (although each person is different). We should trust our instincts. But we must also learn that not every experience has a previously identified solution, we need to adapt, to change and flux.

Now, my lovely-jubbly chumarinos, if any of you are feeling down I want you to listen to this:

As Alice said when asked by the Hookah-Smoking Caterpillar: 'I'm sure I knew who I was this morning, but I've changed several times since then!'

Oh adulthood, you do you.

Xo, Ellen