Ten Thousand Places

stronggirlI spent most of my life believing that if I said and did exactly the right thing no one would get mad at me, no one would misunderstand me and everything would work out. Every time anyone was mad at me, I took it as a personal failure, and tried to figure out what I’d done wrong and what I could do differently the next time. I mean, EVERY TIME. It was, and is, exhausting. Constantly replaying and rehashing each interaction, no matter how small, as if my brain were perpetually tuned to sports radio after a big game, analyzing the plays and the players, the coach’s decisions, the referee’s calls, the weather, the history, the fans.

I can’t remember exactly when it first occurred to me that there might not be the perfect thing to say, and that other people’s flaws and imperfections might be contributing to misunderstandings, too…

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