The last two days have been a learning experience...about growing callouses. I wish I could say that meant I have been walking more and dealing with physical blisters. But no, I mean figuratively. Because really, when am I not speaking metaphorically about something?
There is a Facebook page being run by someone on campus that posts anonymous confessions and compliments. I'm not going to name it because I don't want to lead any of you there (if you haven't seen it already, that is). Normally, I simply ignore the posts because I have refused to like the page and have no desire to read what is being said. But on Tuesday night, I accidentally stumbled across a post that, to be vague, said very unkind things about my videos. It kinda punched me in the gut. Not because they were being critical--which is fine, I need some perspectives from my audience--but because of the words actually used.
I walked to supper a few minutes later, my head buzzing in the way it does when adrenaline hits. I couldn't really breathe for a while. The cold air shocked me enough to keep me going to the caf, but when I got there, I kinda just stood and stared blankly at things. I talked to people I trusted about it, and then I went to work. Just stuff it down and pretend it didn't happen, right?
Wrong. I went over and spent some time with my former wingmates in their apartment after I got done tutoring, and I couldn't quite shake the pit the size of a volleyball in the bottom of my stomach. When I finally told them about the posts and cried for a while, I temporarily felt somewhat better. I remembered why I always come to these people for comfort and thinking time. They're safe. They're consistent. They're willing to be honest in ways that sting rather than cut.
Yesterday was a process of stuffing it behind all of my other priorities. I had supper with Michael, and we talked about using it as a learning experience to build a tougher skin. I went to bed last night beginning to feel at least a little bit less raw.
Then at lunch today, Amber looked at me and said, "So...you might have started a trend." Crap. Together, we read a post with quite a positive light about RED411...followed by a lengthy post with a thorough, kind critique of my work. This one named me rather than vaguely targeting the editor. While I am not sure how I feel about being named on a page like that one, I appreciate the reason behind it.
I also appreciate the feedback they gave me. Much of it is going to be implemented, actually. Based on this situation, I am working on making some changes to the weekly routine as well as the format of the videos. The suggestions were quite helpful as well as respectful, which did so much for my spirit. So to whoever you are, THANK YOU. You have not gone unheard. Your opinions and ideas have value and I shall work my hardest to improve based on these and other comments.
To the people who stood up for me (specifically Cosmin, Julia, Logan, Amanda, Brianne, Clarissa, and Melody): I am so grateful. To those of you who did not get named but quietly supported me, you are so appreciated.
I do not know who originally said the hurtful things, but to whoever you are: I'm sorry I couldn't please you. I'm trying to improve. It's really, really hard. I'm working three jobs and I'm a full time student. I haven't even had this job a full year. I plead with you to give me grace, if you have any desire to do so. Thank you for helping me learn a lesson, even though it hurt more than you know to go through this.
Prayer requests: People are getting sick, both here and back home. I don't like it when people I care about start to feel icky. TENTS is trying so hard to get moving...it's just taking longer than we wanted, I guess. I'm learning so much, both from Drew and from our recent experimentation. But there is always more to learn.
Lastly. The crap that I just spent quite a while explaining. I'm still hurting. Some people I love are still upset. I'd like to stop being upset and hurt and all of that. Please pray that I learn more than I hurt in this situation.
God loves me, and God's love will always be enough.