Have you ever convinced yourself that you hated something, only to eventually discover that you actually loved it?
I used to hate to write anything longer than a poem. This former, vivid, hatred of mine is strange to reflect upon now, as I happily spend hours upon hours engaged in writing my second non-poetry book. The word count on my current draft is over 40,000.
I had my reasons for my hatred of writing longform:
As a high school and college student, I was a slow writer – a painfully slow writer. Fortunately, my mind isn’t THAT slow, but, especially back then, my cerebral palsy combined with a lack of confidence and a woe-is-me attitude made my typing speed highly snail-like. This slowness tortured me when it came to writing papers and taking essay tests.
In terms of writing papers, my slow typing speed met the hate I felt for writing anything-longer-than-a-poem head on to create a massive amount of inspiration for me to procrastinate on writing anything that was assigned to me. My procrastination met my guilt and anxiety about procrastinating to add general misery to my life. This habit of procrastination led to waiting until the last minute to write the paper, which combined with the slow typing speed mentioned above, led to me forcing myself to spend many consecutive agonizing hours in front of the computer cramming to get the paper done.
In terms of essay test taking, the main reason that I didn’t enjoy them was not because I wasn’t interested in the subject matter, but because I was so slow at completing them. If the top students finished in 30 minutes and the rest of my classmates completed in 45 minutes, I would still be working an hour later. I despised feeling as slow as molasses and being last.
Repeated experiences of #1 and #2 led to “I hate writing anything longer than a poem” embedding itself as fact in my mind.
How I went from feeling that amount of disdain for lengthy writing, to today finding so much joy in it, is worthy of a book in and of itself….maybe my next one.
For now, I simply want to get us thinking about the idea that:
What we hate now, could one day be what we love.
Considering that, I urge you, as I urge myself, to treat our dislikes with care.
These discussions and reflections often revolve around a dreaded eight letter word-
Anymore, I catch myself getting angrier and angrier while reading just about any political news story. I feel so sure that my view is right and feel strong disdain for those in the story with opposing views.
But, what if, I could eventually learn to love those people or at least, appreciate their views being just as passionate as mine?
And what of the person who bullies?
In junior high, there was one kid who picked on me day in and day out. He hated the sound of my voice. He hated the look and ineptness of my coordination. He basically hated everything I did and everything I was.
Who was this kid who just wouldn’t let me have any peace?
One day I looked at myself in the mirror, and realized that kid was me.
Hatred and anger can blind us to our own goodness.
This blindness can be excruciatingly painful.
Maybe it’s time to do our Imperfect Best to love our own hate.
Giving love to what we hate is not a quick or easy path by any stretch of the imagination, but humans continuing their long history of being nasty to themselves and nasty to each other is only going to continue to lead us in the direction of even more profound pain and suffering.
Life is very imperfect and often extremely challenging, but
Together we can create profound good.
JASON FREEMAN is a Professional Speaker and the proud owner of a Speech Impediment. He is also the author of “Awkwardly Awesome: Embracing My Imperfect Best” and a Perseverance Coach.
He excites and encourages his audience to break through the barriers of their own limitations using a method he created, called “doing your Imperfect Best ™”.
His Imperfect TEDx Talk can be viewed here.