How Taking Myself Too Seriously Ruined Me

Hey there!

I recently wrote a piece for a new website called “Twenties + Adulting” about my experiences working in the film industry as an unnecessarily pretentious perfectionist and how my perspective on life + happiness completely changed. If you’ve been keeping up with The Barefoot Aya, you know that many other experiences somewhat forcibly changed my perspective, which you can read about here. Below is an excerpt of the piece and a link to the full article. I will occasionally contribute to this new website and I’m very excited. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy!

-Aya

Have you ever thought about the proper spelling of that exclamation you make when you’re amazed or surprised? Is it spelled “woah” or “whoa?” Does it matter? These were questions we pondered as kids and somewhere along the way, I was told that you could pick one and go with it, like “okay” and “OK” or “gray” and “grey.” They’re all the same.

However, after commenting on my friend’s facebook post with “WOAHHHH” one day, one of her friends replied, joking that I had misspelled it and that it was supposed to be spelled “WHOA.” As a recent college grad who majored in English, graduated with honors, and couldn’t get a job to save my life even though I had been working since I was 14, this made me furious.

I replied with a long paragraph about the complexities of language and its pliability, that “whoa” could be spelled “woah” if one desired, and that ONE OF MY ELEMENTARY TEACHERS TOLD ME IT DIDN’T MATTER, OKAY? AHHHHH NO ONE CORRECTS MY GRAMMAR. MY GRAMMAR, SPELLING, AND PUNCTUATION ARE PERFECT. I USE OXFORD COMMAS AND I KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS.

At this point, nothing I had ever worked for in my life mattered. My pet bird that I’d had for eleven years had just died and I was living off of the few savings I had by eating one meal a day in an overpriced, closet-sized room in Los Angeles. My boyfriend and I had broken up a few months prior and I still wasn’t over it. He wasn’t even my boyfriend, anyway, yet I caught feelings for him.

I use “catch” like emotions are some kind of virus, like the flu…and it was. I remember visiting him at med school and joking about seriously dating him “if only” he didn’t live in Philadelphia. He looked me in the eye, I imagine he grabbed me by the shoulders, and said, “I don’t like you like that.”

“It’s okay. It was just a joke,” I said to the only person I felt a real connection with in the past three years…

READ THE REST via How Taking Myself Too Seriously Ruined Me — Twenties + Adulting

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