“I hope you do something nice for yourself. Other than reading, writing, or rowing.” “I was thinking of drinking an unhealthy amount of energy drinks. Otherwise, I had thought of doing things in Seattle or elsewhere, but nothing was appealing. ” I had been anticipating my birthday for a few weeks. I wanted to prepare myself to do whatever I wanted when I woke up. Explore the city on a nice summer day? Or do nothing?
“What’d you do over your birthday?” “Just hung out with the wife. Did what I wanted to do all weekend, basically.” “That’s great. Our birthdays are the only day where we can be autonomous and really celebrate ourselves. The rest of the year, we’ve gotta give our autonomy over to others.” “I hadn’t really thought of it like that, but you’re right.” This essay publishes on my birthday; what will I do on this day?
“Home is where you can be you.” “There’s the quote.” “Yeah.[1,2,3]” Part of this extended process of detaching from my home I’ve built up over the course of seven years has been to learn to become more comfortable being “me” while abroad. My social anxiety is when I’m too focused on keeping my mask on, being a certain way, or having to be concerned with how my persona is perceived. Instead, just be you everywhere.
Critiques on your work shouldn’t manifest in your mind as bruises. The redlines may feel like cuts against your writing. The comments may seem like scars. These are just your insecurities. Those same insecurities will coax you into skipping social events or embarrass you with memories of mistakes. Rather than silencing that internal critic of yours, calm yourself down, then get in that document, familiarize yourself with the edits, make the changes, and then proceed.
I realized a problem with my writing: I’ve reached a soft limit of how I can communicate. There’s a lot to unpack, so let’s analogize with my cheap “pawn shop special” bass: it fulfills all my limited needs when it comes to learning the basics. I can pluck strings and learn chord progression. I don’t mind tuning it whenever I’m serious about playing it. Now if I wanted to play with others or even professionally…
 Oops! Forgot about publishing this. Well, plenty has changed over the past 13 weeks and 92 publications. I originally made these “Betzom check-ins” primarily to comment on how I’ve evolved as a writer, with a slight convenience being something easy to write about. These past 92 days have seen my biggest launching in success yet, and I’m only poised to go succeed more from here… so much so that I didn’t even need the crutch of this essay.
The best gift you can give to yourself is self-trust. Knowing that regardless of how any event turned out, if you trust that you did your best and tried with as much effort as you could muster, then the consequences are trivialities. Take all those negative feelings you have about wishing you could have changed past events and trust that you can act with positive intentions in behaviors that will improve your mind and body.