For everyone with TRY in their hearts

A few weeks ago, I received a short email from a stranger in Vermont who hates my blog. He called me an embarrassment to the state and asked me not to advertise my “Vermontness.” He didn’t give any specific criticism. Instead, he just insisted that my writing is terrible. (He misspelled two of the words in the email. But who am I to judge?) I didn’t respond because I didn’t have the words.

Yet, I’d be lying to say that I wasn’t crushed. His email really got under my skin. I didn’t understand why this man would even bother to email me. Was I really an embarrassment to Vermont?  Why wouldn’t he just ignore my blog if he hated it?  Did he really have to email me and ruin my day? I lost sleep that evening tossing and turning over his words.

It took some time to regain my confidence. But, after a few decent sleep cycles, I realized that I couldn’t let him destroy my love of writing for many reasons:

  1. I never claimed to be Shakespeare.
  2. I’m not charging money for him (or anyone) to read my blog.
  3. I’m not hurting anyone.

I can take criticism. But I don’t appreciate meanies. When it comes to this silly little blog, I can’t apologize for something that makes me so darn happy. (I officially give you permission to ignore this blog forever if you hate it.)

I don’t have to succeed. I don’t have to fail. I just have to try my best. After all, try in my heart is more powerful than hate on your tongue.



2 thoughts on “For everyone with TRY in their hearts

  1. When I was in the fifth grade, my dad (a prosecutor at the time) served as a volunteer substitute teacher for my class for one afternoon. The class was typically rowdy, and I expected my dad to be frustrated that many of the students weren’t paying attention. He wasn’t. He focused on the kids who were paying attention and generally seemed to have a good time. I asked him about it afterwards, and he told me that no matter how good you are, you will never get 100%. I thought about this a lot when I was an admissions officer. You can have a rapt audience – laughing and engaged – but someone will inevitably come up afterwards to complain about the lack of time spent on Latin/Athletics/Library Resources, etc. You will never get 100%, and it doesn’t matter how good you are. The key piece of this is not to worry about the 1% or the 5% (its a choose your own adventure with the percentages). You can’t capture their approval without giving up a whole lot of good. I love your blog, and if you listened to the rude man who emailed you (because, let’s be honest, it was the kind of rude thing people only do in their mean electronic lives), you would be depriving me (and many others) of something loved.


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