"Positive feedback draws attention to the fact that the receiver is advancing in the right direction and indicates what he or she has achieved with respect to the goal that was set, which enhances the receiver’s appraisals of self-efficacy.

“Negative feedback, by contrast, draws the recipient’s attention to what went wrong and what still has to be done, which may evoke uncertainty and fear in the recipient, the more so because negative feedback evokes the possibility of failure."

Perceived Self-Efficacy, Personal Goals, Social Comparison, and Scientific Productivity, Vrugt & Koenis, 2002

...

I—

I’ve felt fragile for a month and a half now.

A month and a half ago I got on a plane. It was the 21st plane I had gotten on in a 14 month period and I won’t be going that kind of distance again for a while.

“I’m going to be on fire,” I said when I was asked what it was going to be like when I got back.

But then—what is this?

I never expected that the structure built up in my chest would constantly feel so close to tumbling. We pulled one too many blocks out of the Jenga tower and now there’s a kind of tremor in my hands and my eyes. There’s a film between what I used to be able to do and what I do now, and what if I’ve forgotten how to make anything...?

When I was sick in high school I was on such an edge that I was stupidly high-achieving. And now maybe I’ve used up all my adrenaline because you can only care so much for so long before you get tired, so tired, why am I so tired and I’m only 22 years old…?

I want to talk with my friends and look at the mountains and look at the sky.

I want to ride my bike on Sunday afternoons in the late summer sun. Riding bikes in a skirt outside of time and place, because are side streets in a Western town still relevant in the 21st century…?

I’ve felt fragile and damaged inside since this my last first day of school. I learned from having OCD at age 15 that one stimulus can morph into another and create slow-moving shockwaves that flow throughout your life for years and years and years and years—that aftershocks pop up intermittently—that caring too much buckles you to your knees until you have to learn how to care again—

Because caring too much is and has always been my problem, people keep telling me that I’m "a bit much", to “ maybe tone it down a little” and avoid the extremes—

—and I always thought they were wrong but what if they were right…?

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