Tell us about the harshest, most difficult to hear — but accurate — criticism you’e ever gotten. Does it still apply?
Most of the criticism’s that I have received have been from myself. I have not very nice to myself in the past. Over the past several years I have let up on myself somewhat, indulging in some understanding and forgiveness for slights that don’t even matter to anyone else. We tend to be our own worst enemy and we shouldn’t.
Actually thinking back as to why I decided to take a year off between college and law school and then never going to law school, I finally realize what drove me way down deep in my subconscious. During that year of deferment, I met my hubby, got married and then got pregnant and had the baby boy all by the age of 24; I can now say that it was due to my negative inner dialogue which sadly convinced me that I was in over my head with the prospects of law school. I had convinced myself that I was an intellectual fraud; objectively, I had the tremendous luck of having a near perfect memory, but aside from that when it came to second and third level courses, I had decided that I couldn’t get past parroting back the information and I was useless when it came to intellectual analysis. I diagnosed this fraud because I earned 2 B+’s in my political science courses instead of my customary A’s.This diatribe kept resonating in my head for close to two years and even beyond. It was quite debilitating and disheartening to say the least, but I threw myself into being a wife and a mother, cooking and baking, two things that I love doing, back then there was a bit of a learning curve to traverse but that is part of the fun, learning as you are cooking.
It has only been recently that I have realized that I had been far too harsh in my criticisms of my younger self. I had overlooked the fact that not only was I working full-time while taking a full course load at a very good University but I was also in full on anorexia. The amount of physical and mental work needed to sustain that mental illness is extremely substantial, I am not bragging, this illness is incredibly dangerous, not only because of what it does to your body and mind but by its insidious nature, it creeps on you without announcing its presence, effectively blindsiding you until for some, it’s way too late. I was lucky, but who knows how many brain cells had to die in the process of my self starvation. I was operating on a diminished capacity and thank the universe my mother figuratively smacked my out of my fog. I was an unwilling participant in my recovery, but my mother hung tough and willed it with her strength of character. She saved me from myself. It is sometimes scary how clearly things become with the gift of hindsight. Why can’t we have the power of foresight come to us as easily as hindsight does?