I had my heart momentarily broken last week.
My latest column received some pretty harsh comments from readers online, and while I am not normally as affected by what people say – the comments jolted me back into responsible reality.
It happens somewhat often, this meandering of mine into other territory. At times, I become bored with the successful or good and become interested in the dark or seemingly “freer” side of life. I am never exactly sure of the real culprit only painfully aware of its existence – after the fact.
I had become lost again – something that happens to me occasionally. I am one of those people who still hasn’t learned to walk “the straight and narrow” and I am not sure that I ever will be. I lean and toss and find interest in pebbles and bumps – I become bored with “normal.” But the older I get the more it is to my detriment.
I am no kid any longer. I don’t have time to make-up and I definitely cannot afford to mess with my reputation. A quote that I came across after this little event said something along the lines of “it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to kill it.” Those aren’t the exact words, but you get my point.
I was out having fun, I was being silly and irresponsible. I was supposed to make sure that when a column with my name and picture was published – it was solid. I don’t need to mess with my future or my career and I don’t need to have regrets.
Regret is something that can tear down anyone – and does over time if it is allowed to creep into one’s life. It builds and builds until it is a boulder – one that cannot be shattered.
The column meant a lot to me – it was a subject that I really found interesting and wanted to expand on, but you wouldn’t know that if you read it. At first I blamed it on my editors because they didn’t edit with me since I was out-of-town. A fact or two was changed and some of my strong language was simplified, but the reality is that I have no one to blame but myself.
Maybe you are thinking that I shouldn’t be writing this online – or shouldn’t be taking responsibility for it – but I must.
I haven’t known what to write about or say since this happened. I have been lost in Ahna land thinking about the choices I have been making and the things I have been doing. And I am not proud.
It’s not the end of the world and I am not a bad person or even a dumb person – I got sidetracked. I work really hard when school is in session and I think a part of me has just been letting loose this summer.
And a part of me that feels like this is my last summer.
The summer before my Senior year in high school I wrote an article for the Franklin Press about how that was my very last summer to be a “kid.” There would be no more ice cream Sundays and no more days at the pool – I would be growing up.
While that certainly was not my last summer – this one may very well be. I didn’t take an internship because my dog is still young, but next summer I definitely will. I hope to leave the country for the three months and work in a newspaper internationally somewhere. I plan on being busy and then next fall I will graduate.
But regardless of any excuse I can come up with – I don’t have time to play around with myself or my future. I will certainly make mistakes and those mistakes should be forgiven as this one will be, but I cannot forget about the goal down the road.
So I will stand back up, dust myself off, and continue on with my head held high. If I can’t forgive myself – then who can?