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needs to be said.

it's a rough time of the year. apparantly, this semester/term is the worst one for things like depression and low self-esteem.

it kind of hit me this morning in the shower how many people we have on this site with serious low self-esteem problems. i'm not that good at tackling low self-esteem - the only thing i can ever think to do to combat it is dripping compliments. which come from the heart, btw... those of you who know me well know that i don't lie.

just wanna talk about a few of the things people have confidence issues over.

talent. did you know that people are attracted to the hobbies they have a natural talent for? it's extremely unusual to like something you're not good at. the fact that you are here, a member of an online writing community (which i presume you're a member of because you like writing) means that you bear a degree of talent in that field.
the amount of talent on this particular site blows my mind. i get quite a lot of im's complementing shaman, and i kinda wish now i'd saved some to show you all. one of the things a lot of outsiders comment on is the high quality of writing on this game. some potential members have actually been put off joining because they're intimidated by the quality of the posts here, and they consider you all to be advanced rpers.

niceness. writers are artists and artists are nuts, more or less a fact. :P the drama which goes on in the rpg community is kind of to be expected when you through a bunch of talented and probably highly strung people together. i can count the number of dramas we've had on this game, now 2 years old, on less than one hand. how many times have i had to step in and break up a fight? hardly ever. how many times has said fight actually been a misunderstanding rather than actual bitchiness? always bar once. have i ever banned anyone? no. have i ever punished anyone? no. you guys! you have never given me or each other an ounce of hassle, and that isn't because of me, it's because of YOU. it's because you are all genuinely nice, wonderful people who just want to have fun and aren't trying to stir up drama.

physically. i never know what to say to this one, since i'm a genuine believer in inner beauty, but i'll give it a shot here. the definition of beauty varies drastically depending on which culture you happen to be in - did you know, for example, that some eastern cultures value larger women and actually have "fattening rooms" to try and make their women larger? just because the culture you happened to grow up in doesn't think you're beautiful, it doesn't mean you aren't. who says your culture is the right one? skinny and blonde is just one culture's definition of pretty. if there's one thing playing online games like this can teach us, it's that there are other cultures out there which are vastly different to our own - hell, even western cultures differ.

just because human beings live in a natural hierarchy, and just because cultural elements dictate who should be at the top of that hierarchy, it doesn't mean every single person in the pyramid isn't equally important. whoever told you your opinion doesn't matter isn't worth your breath. you have as much right to have an opinion and to express it as david cameron or barack obama. the shelf-stacker deserves to be heard and just as much as the corporate businessman. you owe it to yourself to be true to yourself.

you are beautiful. you are talented. you are intelligent and educated and people want to hear what you have to say. you're kind and helpful and people love you for the person you are.
don't ever, ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

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