Friday, November 13, 2009

Experiment Parameters

So here's the beginning:

I recently began seeing a shrink. And I have a lot of things to think about. Here are the major issues this blog will hopefully help me deal with:

-She says that I'm overly critical of myself and my major method of coping with that is to turn iton the outside world. My critical and cynical sides are methods I use to deal with what I see as my own shortcomings. This is very true. I'm hoping to turn this blog into a way I can express said cynicism in a logical fashion.

-I have been afraid of creative writing my entire life. The idea of writing down my emotions or thoughts on something and believing they are better than the ways others express themselves has been greatly uncomfortable to me since I was young. My brother is a writer and I cannot even bring myself to read his work, even critically, because I am terrified of viewing his emotions. I have been told by many of my English major peers this semester that I am actually very good at creative writing and I would like to experiment with this possibility.

-My shrink says I need to be nice to myself for at least three minutes every day. This task is terribly daunting, almost to the point of causing panic. As I was walking home today I tried doing this, being nice to myself, and it didn't work. Every nicety I could come up with was quickly countered with a sharp insult to my intellect. How does one be nice to themselves? This is the major experiment of this blog.

-I don't know what I am going to do next year let alone what I want to do with the rest of my life. For the longest time being a high school English teacher made perfect sense to me and was a very pleasant dream to have. I am currently pursuing my master's in English Education and am teaching at a local "urban" (well, as urban as a small city like Knoxville can be) high school and my dreams have been beaten to a pulp. This blog will also be a method for me to explore my possible career choices after finishing my degree. There will be entries on literary criticism, film study, gastronomic experiments (both eating and creating), and probably many others.

This blog is titled "Margaret Tries Being..." and I find that title strikingly appropriate. I am inviting you, my friends, my family, my acquaintances, and complete strangers to take this journey with me. I don't know what I will be at the end but the beginning is surprisingly exhilarating. Comments are very appreciated and encouraged. I don't care if I write an entry on a local restaurant and you feel the urge to tell me I should seriously revamp my opinion of what eatery reviews should be, be honest, be brutal, but be with me on this.

If I sent you an invitation to this blog it is a sign of extreme respect and love.

So... let's begin...


  1. Hey Margie! I hope all goes well...and you should SO love yourself. There's so much about you to love!

  2. I approve so much I created one of my own.

    We need to catch up soon. We've got quite a bit in common right now.

  3. Be nice to yourself for 3 minutes-- hmmm. Enjoy a delicious beverage from Starbucks? Or some Ben & Jerry's!!

    I only have nice things to say about you, so if you need someone to say something nice to you I am a phone call away.

  4. I've always found public blogging helpful because it makes you actually deal with the things you think. Ie, once you've written them down for others to see you have to take responsibility and consider them "real" (or post again about how you've reconsidered). The feedback is nice too, although it's rarely to the extent you secretly hope.

    At any rate, I've found myself in a somewhat similar situation, and I think it's quite apt to say you have my empathy and sympathy. Teaching English did just make so much sense, and it's difficult to deal with the change in identity after such an entrenchment.

    Likewise, selfloathing is a tough pill to swallow (or throw up, as the case may be). Counseling helped (and helps) me to various degrees, and I hope you'll have a comparably valuable experience. Being nice to yourself for a few minutes a day is a good stepping stone. Believing the things you say, believing you're worth the time you take and the things you do are even more important, though. Easier said than done, I know, but I'm always wary of behaviorism so there you are.

    In other words, good luck Margaret. I'll follow and help as much as I can. And, like the others above, please ask if you want/need to. You know where to find me.

  5. Carly gave me a little notebook a couple years ago for Christmas. She told me to write all the good things that had happened and the things that made me happy. Doing this every day, whether it's just "I got up early enough to eat a real breakfast!" really made me notice that life's not really out to get me and that focusing on the good things in life is important.

    Remember when you worked with that professor and organized study groups? Didn't the students tell you you were AWESOME? Maybe you're not meant to be a high school teacher, maybe you're meant to teach college. Not knowing what you want to do is scary/hard.

    You'll be just fine. Keep your chin up!

  6. What a worthy adventure! Onward to Mordor!

  7. This is such an amazing show of courage! Even though I haven't known you that long I value our friendship and you as a person. I'm so glad that you're making steps to value yourself (which is most important!) Good luck with everything and if you need anything at all, please let me know! (You know how optimistic I am hahaha) Love you!