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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Everyone’s a Critic

I’ve had many of my scholarly pieces published, but nothing that has had a big response. After all, they were scholarly and no one could really argue against the topics because of all the research involved. They were informative, well written (if I don’t say so myself), and others are still using it today as a tool for their own research. The topics ranged from childhood obesity, to the porn industry, and everything in between.

However, my first piece published by the local newspaper did get a response. Mind you, it was a couple of years ago, and it was an opinion piece about the MPAA and how the rating system is there for a reason; it was directed specifically towards parents. Looking at it from a professional standard, I’m not satisfied with my piece and there are many things I would have changed. Regardless, it’s out there for the world to see.

Most of the feedback I got was positive. However, on my way to work one day, the shuttle driver confronted me about my piece. I wasn’t accustomed to people actually speaking to me about my work, so I didn’t know how to react. He was appalled at my piece and argued his points against mine, even though he was not a parent himself. His reasoning behind everything was that since I didn’t get my “psychology degree,” all my points were invalid, regardless of how much I studied. Yes, that struck a nerve. I told him that since he was not a parent himself, his points were invalid because the article was not directly addressed to him. Of course, with this man, he was beyond stubborn and would not drop it, even after telling him I did not want to discuss it with him because it was MY OPINION, not his. I told him if he felt so strongly against it, then he should have written an opinion piece about it and seen how many people would have published it. I then got out of the car and walked the remainder of the way to work.

Could I have handled it better? Of course, but if you didn’t read my post about confrontation while it was up, you missed the fact that I’m terrible at confrontation. I always have been, but at least I’m getting better about it. (Thank you, Husbandman!)

That situation happened over two years ago. I still remember it, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t learn anything by it.

Fast-forward two years in the future to June 23, 2014…

My father has always told me, "Everyone's a critic," and I'd like to add, "there are no exceptions." Friends, family, strangers, and even kids can classify into that category.

With that in mind, on my personal Facebook page I decided to do a new experiment, to research and examine other people’s reactions in opposition to my own. The research was meant to inform and enlighten me on how people press their opinions and personal points onto others, especially when they are in great disapproval of someone else’s views. I was not trying to dissuade anyone’s opinions, rather study them. The main reason for this was to get an authentic response that I could adapt into one of my scenarios for a book I’m writing.

I’ve had posts in the past that have pissed a lot of people off; I took notes and moved on. So this time, I knowingly chose a very touchy subject for a lot of people.

Here’s my original post:

“Okay, this just sickens me. Anyone who 'loves' their dog(s) THIS much should be looked at by a shrink. I'm pretty sure it's a real mental sickness... For the last time, dogs are NOT your kids, not even close.”

Followed by this video:

I knew I had some people on my Facebook that would have different views from my own, but I didn’t expect just how angry people would get, especially because everyone that responded knows me in person.

To those people, I address you now:

Thank you for giving me your honest opinions. While you may think it’s cruel for me to have experimented and studied you, I assure you that it was not meant to be. Take it as a compliment that I want to utilize your personality traits, reactions, and beliefs into my work.

There are many things that you all say or do that drive me nuts, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to care for you any less. I’m an adult and I recognized that everyone’s opinion has a value. Even if I don’t agree with you all the time, I’m not going to lose sleep over it or think differently of any of you.

Furthermore, I will have critics with everything I write, so this has just been another learning experience for me. If I lose friends or family because of this or anything else I may write in the future, so be it; they weren't worth my time anyway. I’m a writer. I’m used to not having friends or many family members around. Besides, I'm not writing to please you or anyone else. As long as I have the support of my amazing husband, that's what really matters to me.

Friday, June 6, 2014

GRADUATION!!!!

I did it… I finally graduated college! I’m the first woman in my family’s history to ever get a higher education. It took me four years to get to this point, which was increasingly difficult considering I did it all online, but I did it! Two different colleges and one degree later, I can now proudly say I am an educated woman.

I truly couldn’t have done it without my stronghold, my incredible husband. It sounds cliché to say, but I can say it because it’s a fact. He was always there to help me when I needed him the most. He’s been my biggest fan and supporter, and he’s the only person who can honestly say that he has read EVERY PIECE of work I have ever written (during college). He’s been my spell checker, out-loud reader, and overall a huge part of my success. Not to mention our daughter, who I have sacrificed four years of her life and missed out on a lot of precious time with, just to complete my degree. Someday I pray she understands that it was all not for naught.

I know what you may be thinking; did he help me with some of my schoolwork? Absolutely, I’d be lying if I said no. We’re a perfect team and we work well together.

Did he ever write any of my work? That’s the real question, isn’t it? I never took credit for doing this all on my own, especially during the beginning of my education. I had many stumbling blocks along the way, but every time I couldn’t start something because of these blocks, all he had to do was write the first sentence, after that it’d spark something in me to finish.

If you were to ask him, “Don’t you think that’s dishonest and unfair?” I guarantee you he’d respond with this or something similar, “No. Honestly, I don’t know how I even helped because she never used anything I ever wrote. She would look at what I wrote and branch off of it towards a completely different perspective, one that I didn’t see before. By the end of it, she’d have a totally different piece from the one I started for her.”

I only hope I can one day return the favor, and be his starter and foundation. Until then, he has my full support. Just a few more months and he’ll also be a graduate from Full Sail University, but from the computer animation program. Expect greatness from us, because together we are a – sorry Miley – wrecking ball!