She isn’t proud


Shelly Batterbee

A picture of me in 10th grade when I had slightly more confidence than I do now.

I peaked sophomore or junior year.

The words I wrote were something people cared about, at least I think they were. I felt relatively proud of what I managed to squeak out. Now I write words no one cares about. I reread something, and it gets worse with each sentence. 

I used to write words that had meaning to others. Though I didn’t quite know it, I tried to connect with people through written words since it was stressful to speak out loud. But now, I feel like I am writing to get by. 

I love to write, and I love feeling accomplished after writing something I am proud of, but that hasn’t been the case this year. My reviews are mediocre, my columns seem empty and lacking inspiration, my features and profiles have been a struggle, and my editorials aren’t as interesting as I start out thinking they will be. 

Yesterday, I listened to part of an interview by the amazing Natalie Mix. She seemed to make the interview fun and more than just an interview. She spoke with kindness and confidence and never seemed to stop having questions. I used to be somewhat like this. I never had her confidence, but ideas and questions flowed out of me. Now I can barely get a five-minute interview, and my stories lack motivation because of it. 

I used to be able to think of the weirdest angles and come up with something from anything. I used to be able to look at an object or a word and ideas would burst out of me. I would become so passionate that all of my free time was spent on this class—sometimes a little too much. 

I am drowning in self-doubt, self-pity, and hatred.”

Maybe it’s a lack of the family connection I had in the class. Maybe it’s how no one ever asks me to edit. They think I am too busy. They think I am not good enough. They don’t remember I am even a part of the class.

Maybe I don’t feel like what I write matters. Does it? Does anyone actually read it? And if they do, is it because I am related to them or their friend and they feel obligated? Do they actually read the words and not just skim them? Am I making any difference?

I have become too repetitive in my thoughts and words. I always return to the simple form of repetition. I always return to the questions lingering in my mind. 

In a way, I am writing my least favorite type of story right now. I am writing a review about my writing—and it’s my first negative review out there. I have become so stuck in a lack of imagination that nothing else would write itself. 

I am drowning in self-doubt, self-pity, and hatred. Hatred for feeling this way. Hatred for my lack of motivation. I am drowning and don’t know where to look for the life preserver. 

I am proud of my sophomore self and her wonderful, inspiring words, but my sophomore self is not very proud of the girl and writer I have turned out to be.