Mental Strength

“I wish I hadn’t said that.” My mother remarks, as she leaves the room. “Oh, God.” I think. “Maybe I’m not going to grow out of this.” On some level, I guess I always thought I would. The self doubt when a conversation ends, the social awkwardness that hits when it’s too late to do anything about it. When I try to sleep at night and instead see myself at fourteen, reading my journal aloud, or an unending loop of earlier that same day, talking to my neighbor about why I’m not dating anyone, while I have ink marks all down my left arm. But maybe it’s less of a teenage thing, and more of a human thing, and instead of hoping it will go away, it’s something I have to actively work on. Because when I’m dwelling on things I’ve said or done, either yesterday or when I was five, I’m not helping myself. I can’t change it, and I’m just wasting time feeling bad about it.

I recently read the Huffington Post’s list of “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do“, and I realized I have things I need to work on. It’s a little late for official New Years resolutions I suppose, but mental strength takes a lifetime. I just want to be aware of it. Dwelling on the past is probably what I’m the most guilty of. I ask myself what I would have done differently if I had something to do over again, and what I’ve realized is that first, that’s a stupid theoretical question I don’t need to bother with until the invention of time travel, and second, I’d do the same thing. Every time. Because I am who I am. I tell dumb stories about anglerfish and time travel, I have a lot of opinions I share too easily, and until I graduate I will always have formulas and equations written in permanent marker on my arms.

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