For every person who likes me there is one person who loathes me and several who are indifferent. 

As a child and a teenager, this was devastating. When I first started teaching, it was sometimes difficult to come to terms with. In the deepest grip of my depression, I wonder how I can change to avoid making people loathe me. At the moment, I’m mostly okay with these facts—there’s so much else to worry about.

I don’t want to alienate people, but it is inevitable.

Each day I can try to do a better job at being my best self. When I am thoughtless or lost or stupid, I can forgive myself and work to not make the same mistakes. Every time I feel dislike bubbling up, I can examine its source, take a few breaths, and make sure I respond without cruelty. When I screw up, I can sincerely apologize and work to not make the same mistakes.

I hope I’m mostly a good example of a “good” adult—responsible, professional, honest, loyal, flawed, willing and able to listen, willing and able to grow.

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