For many years, when someone asked me, “how was your week?”, I often replied, “good, not much happened, how about you?”— quickly deflecting the attention from myself to another. For some reason, those questions--how are you? how was your week? what are you up to?--asked out of courtesy and good-nature, made me feel shame, as if I had done something wrong and they were confronting me about it. Assessing my life was a painful process because I graded my day based on my accomplishments and productivity.
I’ve been on a journey of accepting my short-comings, especially regarding what I don’t know, and it’s making me more brave. I was under the impression that if I didn’t grasp all the nuances of a topic, if I didn’t express every possible argument and rebuttal to display that yes—I had considered all sides of the story—then I had no right to speak. And while it’s important to be critical and well-informed, which I will always strive to be, I am learning that my standards are both unrealistic and harmful, specifically for spaces like a personal blog where, I think, it’s well-established that these are my opinions.
Elisa is a Vietnamese-Canadian writer and editor. Her work focuses on familial love, self-discovery, and immigrant experiences.