Earlier this month, I answered a question in Spanish class wrong, stepped on a piece of gum on the way out of school, accidentally left my English folder at home, and nearly tripped in front of my crush.
What a time to be alive, am I right?
As a junior in high school, and a fellow human in general, I deal with embarrassing moments all of the time. There seems to be no limit to the number of mistakes I can make in a single day. I remember being in middle school, staying up late because all I could think about were the countless awkward moments that would rewind in my head, over and over again. I would be lying on my pillow, overanalyzing everything that could have been done better.
It is so easy to make oneself suffer in the name of mortifying moments. But in my experience, the truth is that actually having those embarrassing days is nowhere near as important as how you move on.
Someone can do everything wrong in a day, whether that be in school or personal life, but the true defining moment lies in the decision that the individual is willing to make at the end of it all.
As part of the Honors English course at La Salle High School, our teacher gave us the assignment of watching “The Matrix” and finding the central themes in the movie. In one of the film’s most iconic scenes, Morpheus, a leader in the rebellion against the Matrix, gives Neo (the character played by Keanu Reeves) the decision between selecting between taking a red pill and thereby learning more about the Matrix, or a taking a blue pill that will cause him to wake up in his bed and return to his normal life. That opportunity, for Neo to choose between two worlds, becomes his true unknown power. He then is able to expand out of his comfort zone and become the hero in the narrative.
The same principle stands for our own small world. Each one of us gets to decide every day how negative or uncomfortable situations will mold us.
That decision means a lot more than the fact that a fault was ever made. We all have to learn from our mistakes and grow because to cower in your embarrassment is to loose the power that is inherently yours to decide.