Forgiveness is a tricky thing. Growing up, when I would get in a little tiff with a friend or family member I would let any ounce of frustration get to me. I would change my attitude and act sad, mad, or angry, just so the person I was having a conflict with would be forced to say, "I'm sorry," but honestly, that isn't really how it ended up most of the time. I hope I don't come off as a person who was constantly in silly arguments with people, because that's not the case. It's just that as I've gotten older that I've come in contact with people who will rub me the wrong way. This is really inevitable, especially as you get older.
I'm a journalist, so I am always talking to people, and I know it's very hard to believe ;). Anyways, my job is stressful and I work with a lot of people who are also stressed out, so the combination of the two makes a brewing cauldron of heightened emotions. On a weekly basis, I am faced with sources who don't call me back, technical difficulties and sometimes unhappy colleagues, which all leaves room for arguments, grudges and aggression. This happens doesn't just happens in the newsroom, it happens at school, at work, with friends and family, it happens everywhere!
Recently I had a conflict with someone, I won't say who for the protection of their privacy, but it really upset me. It concerned a story of mine, which I worked hard to get and produce. Anyways, there was an altercation between this person and myself. Usually I would have let it go and not say anything, but disclose every minute detail to a friend or family member, but I would never confront the person I had the conflict with.
Last week someone I look up to explained to me when you should speak up and when you should move on. When someone is having a bad day and they snap at you, that's an example of letting it go. Obviously if that person says something extremely hurtful and out of line then it should be addressed to them, but if it's a one time deal then it's probably not worth letting it ruin your day, and that's to keep you feeling sane! However, if there is a constant problem and a person makes you feel a negative way on a consistent basis, then that's when you should speak up. Call that person out, tell them how you're feeling and how you want to and deserve to be treated. Don't let yourself feel inferior to them, because you're not. This is exactly what I did this past week with the person I was frustrated with. I had too many similar experiences like this one and I couldn't stay silent over it any longer, I had to voice my opinion and say how I felt and I'm really glad I did. It was a relief and I felt like I had finally stood up for myself and my work, as you should always do to. If you believe in something, don't let it go to the wayside because someone else tells you otherwise. I promise this story ties in with forgiveness, so lets get back to that.
The reason I bring up this conflict I had is because the old Brooke would have let it eat away at herself, even after addressing it to the person. The old Brooke maybe wouldn't have even spoken up about her feelings with fear that she would feel embarrassed or under-appreciated. I have moved past those feelings because I'm learning to forgive.
It's okay to not be okay
Life is an everlasting obstacle. It might not look that way when things are going good but when your life takes a turn and a series of unfortunate events begin to happen, we think that our life path is changing. However, you're always on the same obstacle course, you're just facing more challenges when the times get tough.
I've been facing a lot of personal challenges outside of work, and it's been really hard to cope. I've been asking myself, "how can I suppress my personal emotions so they don't interfere with my work life?" but that's not the right question to be asking. I shouldn't be suppressing any emotions.
I'm not an expert, but instead of blocking those emotions from coming up, I give myself time to process them. I'll give you a very honest example about what I mean. I recently broke up with my boyfriend of four years. Everyday I feel guilt and responsibility for someone else's happiness. Pile that on to the stress of being a multimedia journalist who works long hours and is constantly on a deadline- it's A LOT. To be honest, I feel like I'm losing my grip. When I feel like I'm a complete basket case and I can no longer contain the wailing cries, I write or I call someone I love or trust to tell them what I'm experiencing.
As a young, driven, professional woman, I want to think that I can do it all, I think a lot of women think that way. The truth is, most of the time I am on top of my stuff, but I also need help sometimes, and that's okay. When my personal life hits a rough patch and those obstacles start to become difficult, I try not to suppress the sadness, the stress, the fear, or whatever it is I'm feeling. I really try to recognize the feelings and accept them. To some this up, just know that if things aren't going perfectly inside your heart or your mind it's okay. It's okay to not be okay. It's not okay to not do anything about it because you matter.
I created this blog as a way to share my journey of how I got to where I am today. In my life, I always felt like I came up short. My parents were faced with financial troubles, so going to summer camp wasn't an option. I've never felt comfortable in my own skin and consistently think I should be 10 pounds lighter. I always studied really hard for every exam but rarely got an A+. These are just a few scenarios that made me the underdog, but I know I'm not alone. I have a lot of insecurities, but I'm still here and I'm still successful, which is why you can be too. Despite these obstacles I've faced I've never given up, and I know that's the cliché way of putting things but it doesn't make it any less true. Follow me as I share stories about failing to succeed.