Spoiler: This post might make you hate me.
It’s the end of a academic year so I thought I should reflect on the kind of person I have become through the year. Going through my notes, emails and online conversations, I realized several alarming patterns. I have become a person of excuses. I need to stop using them.
- “I’m crazy.” I say it whenever I do something that I know is unacceptable. I would get mad and lash out at someone and then apologize: “Sorry, I’m crazy.” I use “craziness” as an excuse–if I were crazy what I do wouldn’t hurt no one, right? The truth is that what I do still hurts. I’m not crazy. I’m a functional adult and what I do has consequences on other people.
- “I have the communicational skills of a first grader.” I use it to get out of awkward situations. I would say something really stupid like “pretend this never happened” and then shrug it off: “It’s not me. It’s just my communicational skills.” That’s bullshit. I’ve got my writings published on newspapers. I’ve won essay competitions. I can communicate, and I’m responsible for all communication coming from me. Think twice before I speak. Never again talk when I’m emotional. I always regret it. Always.
- “I’m super swamped right now. Can we reschedule?” I have to admit, I have cancelled/rescheduled at least 5 meetings last week. My excuse? “I’m super swamped right now.” Every one is super swamped right now. It’s Silicon Valley. People are building billion-dollar startups, creating technologies that change the world, working on services that are used by millions of people. Nobody is sitting in the sun sipping on colorful cocktails with little umbrellas on them. Saying this doesn’t make my rescheduling any more acceptable. It just shows that I’m terrible at time management, and that I’m a flake.
- “I’m going through a hard time.” If I hit a small bump on the road, I would use it as an excuse to get other people’s sympathy. I have learned that people in the US don’t share a lot of personal details with other people. And just because they don’t tell me doesn’t mean they are not going through bad stuff. I’m not special. My problems are not any more troublesome than other people’s.
- “Let’s catch up sometime.” I hate it when people say “Let’s catch up sometime” as a polite way of getting out of a conversation. But after 2 years in the US, I find myself saying that all the time.
- “I don’t care.” and “Whatever.” I never thought much about this–I thought I was just being easy going. “Where do you want to go for dinner?” “Whatever.” “Do you think it’s okay to respond his email with this?” “I don’t care.” I thought that by saying this, I gave the other person more freedom to decide. But instead, it just makes the other person think I don’t care about that other person or that I don’t care about what we are doing together. Thanks Lucio for pointing this out.
- Silence. I dislike talking about emotions, and when people bring it up, I jus stay silent. A couple of days ago, a friend told me he had a crush on me and you know what I said? I said: “Oh”, then silence. When Paul and I were in Cuba and I was upset at him, instead of talking to him about it, I just got my stuff and walked away. I’m a grownup. I need to own up to it.