I was interviewed for (Swedish) public radio in 2014 or 2015, as one of the people involved in the Swedish school debate. In a sense, I was representing #skolvåren, a Swedish movement born on Twitter in 2013, asking Why school?
Despite feeling both heard and understood during the interview, the end-result had me feeling so utterly dumb. I was portrayed as a total flake, and, recognizing that I definitely have some off-the-beaten-path views and ways of being in the world, how I was portrayed felt like a caricature, very far from me. The ”other side” wasn’t portrayed that much better, but not belittled quite like I felt I’d been.
Upon hearing the piece (as it was aired. I’d not been asked to check it before it was produced, and I wasn’t media-savvy enough to demand it.), I did what I’d done so many times before. I started to beat up on myself, internally. Relentlessly. Feeling so dumb. So ashamed. So embarrassed. As if I’d dragged the whole movement into the dirt with me, ridiculed beyond belief.
After venting with my Mastermind-group, the day after the aired show, I biked home and pivoted. Had an insight. Decided that I. Would. No. Longer. Beat. Myself. Up. Like. This.
I trusted the interviewer.
I spoke from my heart.
And whatever was done with it, I would no longer use as a determinant of my worth.
I shook it off.
I threw away the shovel I’d used to beat myself up with.
However much I cringed upon hearing it, it sure brought a very valuable gift to me, as I’ve not beaten up on myself for that long a period of time (sixteen hours, give or take) ever since.
Inspired by a memory I shared in meandering conversation with Alison Coates, in episode 14 Daring to be vulnerable on record.