Throughout history, the world’s greatest authors have suggested to aspiring writers on numerous occasions to simply “write what you know.” That sounds and feels like good advice until you come to the conclusion that, at this point in life, you don’t know anything.
Of course, what these authors mean is to write about the things most personal to you — to pull from your own experiences and approach a story with the utmost authenticity — because no one appreciates counseling from anyone other than their therapist.
On the other hand, it’s also been recommended to young writers that they bend the rules. It seems fitting, on this occasion, to take the latter route, and proceed with why people need to stop making everything about themselves.
I spent much of my childhood being an unbearably insecure and sensitive kid. Such insecurities opened the door for me to discard any prior knowledge of constructiveness while maintaining perfect clarity of criticism’s definition.
Like any good parents, mine took the time to make constructive suggestions in an effort to direct me toward a path of betterment, but such efforts were typically met with sulking or whining.
When they’d praise the traits of one of my friends or a neighbor’s child, I can remember wondering why they had yet to make the same observations of me.
In every friend group, there’s often one individual notorious for seeking constant validation — always in need of an invite since they’ve deemed a lack of inclusion to somehow mean that others must’ve discovered a reason to not love them anymore.
Unfortunately, for those closest to me at the time, I failed to recognize my claim to the throne of diffidence.
Eventually, there’d be a moment when those relationships began to fade. A moment, which I’d later realize occurred in large part due to my own insecurities — because I’d yet to grasp the fact that people’s day-to-day lives and decisions rarely have anything to do with me.
It’s important to note that it’s hard being “that friend” — but even harder being friends with “that friend.”
Perhaps, it seems I’m being too harsh on my past self or on anyone that might’ve sat up a bit straighter in their chair after reading thus far, but my intention is to express my empathy and provide guidance to those who can relate.
Insecurity and a fear of missing out, otherwise known as “FOMO,” are among the trademarks of what we can expect from young adults in this day and age.
After all, we’ve curated a society in which we reward adolescents with participation trophies, and encourage them to be social media influencers.
A society that focuses far too much of its time teaching children the types of lessons that inevitably get chewed up and regurgitated in the form of life. Lessons that fail to prepare them for the reality that the world does not revolve around any single one of us.
We’re on a constant search to possess the tips and tricks on how best to market ourselves, be the winners of popularity contests, and how to lead a life without pissing people off. But, sometimes, we’re all a little guilty of swerving through traffic to beat the red light.
My friends of the past deserve credit for having held my hand for as long as they did.
Nevertheless, my failure to exhibit an understanding that affection comes in a myriad of forms eventually caught up to me.
The reality is: we don’t all get to be the belle of the ball.
The world doesn't change just because we're all raised to perceive our place in it differently, and making everything about oneself doesn't become any less difficult to deal with.
That being said, love is complicated and messy, and perhaps, the most important thing to comprehend is that it’s not a lack of love for you, but, rather, that everyone you know is in a constant battle to discover how to individually love themselves.
So, everyone take a deep breath, stop reading into every social interaction, and if it’s not yet obvious, please know, it’s just now always about you.
Reach writer Michael Delgado at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @DailyUW_md
Like what you’re reading? Support high-quality student journalism by donating here.