I have an admission to make.
I do not take criticism well - at all.
Completely unwarranted and tangential criticism as a result of someone disliking their line of work: I cannot stand being spoken to rudely by people who do not want to work. I’m looking at you financial aid department. My enunciated kindness was taken advantage of. Apparently, I’m not the only one who is flawed.
Furthermore, I do not tolerate someone saying that I am wrong when I am not. Please take note of the second clause, “when I am not.”
I do not care for the passive-aggressive cowardice of someone smiling while telling me that I am wrong: I’m talking about those editors who believe they are God’s gift to the creative minds who carry the load of brainpower - the reporters/writers. I’m talking about those editors who believe that they are the gatekeepers of the free press.
I believe I need to rid myself of this flaw.
I know I need to handle criticism and not stress; the same stress that is taking years off of my life because of the energy I am exerting in preventing my eyes from narrowing, or having my rather thin lips form a scowl, or furrowing my eyebrows in front of the person to whom my anger is directed.
What I do upon hearing criticism is this: I identify all the reasons why I am in the right. They’re out to get me. They’re just waiting for a downfall. Curse them.
Perhaps I am cynical, but I do not care for morbid predilections so early in the morning, editor madam.
If I’m on a learning curve, than you are too. After all, you just started here a month ago. So we’re both new. I suggest you do not flex your bureaucratic muscles in front of someone who has musculature formed by free weights, acquired under the guidance of a father who bench presses a load that is the equivalent to an upright piano.
Was that a threat?
Yes, that was a threat, albeit an empty one.
I have tried to eat more fruit and vegetables, baked or sautéed in mere drops of olive oil, walk, listen to music, inhale scented candles, drink tea (given up a month and a half ago,) and soothingly rub a variety of lotions into my hardened and scaly hands, the product of the winter season and years of malnourishment.
But to no avail, none of this has caused me to stop fuming.
I am upset. I am furious. I am Reshmi, hear me roar.
That reaction needs to stop for my own betterment. This much I know. The question is how?
How can I attain a level of acceptance, of tolerance, or at least the willingness to ignore?
How can I pretend to not see a driver’s mouth form swear words that causes me to throw insults out of the impressive gradbag of insults that I have acquired from years of hearing pointed racist remarks and being an avid walker amongst the crazy vehicle operators of New York City?
I truly do not know.
On the contrary, here is how I am going to deal with all of this and not let it phase me.
Dear editor, believe it or not I am actually using you; it is not the other way around.
You see, monetary compensation is not only an incentive but also the golden ticket to the realm of higher education.
In some months’ time, I’m outie, up and away, a girl in her twenties, lover to none, mother to none, and determined to pursue work that actually matters to society, not pretentious “movers and shakers.” That phrase is thrown around way too much in this office.
I’m using you.
One could argue that this so-called solution to my flaw is not really a solution at all.
Well, there it is.