I’m terrible with criticism and rejection, and this world is going to chew me up and spit me out.

I grew up with three older brothers and two loving parents. I wouldn’t say that I was spoiled, but I was never without attention.

Even so, my parents taught to me to work for what I wanted. I had to earn it. Nothing in this life is given to you on a silver platter.

This concept didn’t seem so difficult when I was younger. Pay attention in class. Get good grades. Simple. This would be a breeze.

You develop certain skills that you come to believe you’re good at. For some it’s math. For others it’s science. For me its writing.

I don’t have to think. Words just come out onto the paper.

I actually liked research papers. It gave me an excuse to escape to the solitude of the library to quietly be alone with my thoughts.

Psh you only want six pages? Are you sure you don’t want eight? Or 10? I could do this all day.

But at some point, there’s going to be a teacher that will hand you back your paper, and there’s going to be a big fat F on it. And suddenly your world stops.

But I’m good at this. This is my niche. This is the only thing I’m good at. You can’t take away from me.

It’s the same with anything else.

I’m a good friend. Or at least that’s what I like to think.

I’ll listen to you with my undivided attention. I’ll be your shoulder to cry on and give you advice when you ask for it. I’ll be the mom of the friend group and make sure no one makes any stupid decisions.

Let me tell you, it crushes you when a friend tells you that you aren’t doing enough for them. Forget about the fact that you know this friendship is one-sided, and you’re not the one lacking in effort.

How about when they tell you that you’re being selfish? Because God forbid you put your own happiness before others’ for the first time in your life.

People tell you to not worry about what others think about you, but I’m consumed by it.

My success in life is going to be based on if my professor deems my essay worthy of an A. Or if my potential employer thinks I’m good enough for the job. Or if my future husband decides that I’m the one worthy spending the rest of his life with.

These thoughts eat me up, and it’s terrifying.

I live my life by speaking when spoken to, and knowing when to keep my mouth shut.

I don’t push my beliefs in other people’s faces. I don’t bring up my opinions in debates.

I just can’t risk facing that criticism.

And I can’t face not being good enough.

So, life, I’m sorry.

I’m going to hide from you and get anxious when you put me in difficult situations.

Just make sure that every once in a while, you throw me a bone and give me someone that reminds me that I am good enough.

Because sometimes that alone is too big of a job for me to do myself.