What was one of your biggest disappointments and what did you learn?

Q&A With Shay Each Sunday

Q: What was one of your biggest disappointments and what did you learn?

A: Weirdly enough I’ve had a lot of disappointments. I guess everyone has to varying degrees. Maybe in the grand scheme of things mine wouldn’t seem as severe, but what hurts one person doesn’t necessarily affect another, and we are all entitled to our “problems.” Disappointments are really hard to talk about too, and I don’t want to go into too much detail surrounding the events, but I may at a later date when I’m feeling more unapologetically honest (as you’ve realized, that’s something I struggle with, which could be seen as good or bad, but the important thing is to not feel shame, so I’m working on that). I also feel that we can learn from every obstacle and betrayal, though of course some people never do. I try to keep lessons in mind whenever faced with something devastating though that’s definitely hardly possible in the moment of the disappointment. It takes a lot of reflection on the situation.

My biggest disappointment to date was a huge betrayal to myself and my family. It’s often still something I feel like I’ll never fully recover from or move on from. There will never be something to fill that massive void that twenty-four years of my life took up, especially when faced with so many happy memories. I learned not to make so many excuses for other people and to believe people when they are trying to show me who they are (whether they realize it or not). I am also in the process of learning to trust again and reminding myself that this was an anomaly and there are plenty of loving people out there. I mean, there are plenty who aren't, too, but usually they’re easier to spot than the situation I faced. I briefly mentioned this in my blog about which true life stories would make great novel plots, so I am planning to write a book (or two) about this at some point. In my upcoming poetry collection Bleeding Flowers there will be a few poems about the feelings and memories as well.

I’ve had a few other big disappointments in the realm of betrayal and emotional abuse. I don’t want to mention that last one by name(s) just yet, but this next one I will say was my college tennis coach. Despite the experience, I learned that my worth is not based off what other people think of me, especially when so many individuals have very skewed frames of mind. Also, I am a very good tennis player and I worked extremely hard to get to that level, which is something no one can take from me whether they believe it or not, I know it to be true. Also, tennis isn’t serious and I have a whole new life ahead of me that tennis isn’t playing a role in! So, that is exciting even if sometimes I look back and feel regret or sadness, it was one chapter of my life.

Other big disappointments are within the publishing industry currently, but I’ve learned that I must keep staying extra motivated and work hard because it matters to me, and the rest will just be bonus. I’ve noticed I feel most down when I’m not writing a lot or working toward accomplishing my writing goals, so that tells me how important writing is to me and that I need to keep doing it for myself.

I guess I tend to think of disappointments as people since most of the disappointments in my life have been directly related to other people. But maybe that’s the time to look inward and keep striving toward our own goals and reflecting on what we can control in ourselves. (Not to be all motivational speakerish or anything—which is a pretty funny thought.) I also get disappointed in myself constantly, and in those moments of reflection as well, but I think that’s pretty normal. So, keep working toward being better but also we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves at the same time! It’s so much easier said than done, but reflecting on past events in a new light can be really helpful in order to move forward in the present. Plus, disappointments make for much more interesting and honest writing, right?

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Shay SiegelComment