After yesterday’s rant about pop music and Queen’s, I’m taking another tack here.
I must admit, I’m now far enough away from Queen’s and my life there to reflect on it with a steadier hand. When you’re at Queen’s, you tend to spend much of your early years there trying to fit in. In this case, it’s not unlike high school.
I’m a firm believer that most people are not good at listening to advice. Most people don’t really change unless they’re forced to through stuff happening to them. That whole “learning through experience” motif is very true.
Of all the experiences at Queen’s I had, two stand out in particular for me, one good and one very bad.
First, the good. Diatribe – I don’t need to go into length about it again, but needless to say it left me with a great sense of accomplishment. Without it, I don’t know if I’d have found the inner strength to become the journalist I am now.
Strangely though, that very positive experience emerged out of a very bad one.
I won’t go too much into details here, but in 2000 I got into arguably the worst conflict I’d ever set myself up for.
Long story short, I wrote a nasty, vitriolic article that came across as bitter,
sour grapes-infested venom. I had been passed over for a position at a campus organization and didn’t take it well at all. I had been at that organization the year previous and I, along with two other people, were passed over. This was unprecedented. And it stung badly. Instead of shrugging it off and moving on, I was mad. I was hurt.
It was a terrible moment of personal weakness of mine because I let it all get way too personal. I regret the article still and can vividly remember some of the words I wrote, mostly because I was taking misguided, vengeful pleasure at writing it.
The fallout was awful. I made some enemies and it permanently soured my relationship with some folks. I had let something that, while very important to me at the time, not important at all in the real world affect my judgment. Maybe it was because I’d spent so many years at Queen’s feeling different, weird even, and I was so completely fed up with being treated that way. Or maybe it was my bruised ego. I don’t know.
I learned my lesson greatly from that experience. I decided to never do such a thing again and to always keep things like that in their proper perspective. I would never allow personal slights to affect my work. I would always let my work speak for itself.
But most importantly, I learned that life is sometimes unfair, but things do even out in the end. And if anyone who was affected by my words then reads this, I’m truly sorry.