Have you ever noticed how we live in a culture so flawed that nothing but our shortcomings are noticed? For example...If one person labels you a paedophile, then you are a paedophile; equally if just one tiny voice whispers that you are a failure, the echoes are heard far and wide. You are a failure.
Should one person appreciate anything that you have done, should one beacon of praise emerge from the masses and roar with amazement at your talent, then you have achieved nothing.
There is much I have done in my life that I am proud of; there are favours that I have done for people that many would shy away from because of the effort involved. I have defended people when nobody else would and I have battled against armies of doubters to turn my life around to the point where I am today.
Six years ago I was expelled from college for fighting; Four years ago I was convicted of criminal damage, for which I paid a hefty fine. On top of this I gave into anxiety, which in turn led to me becoming less and less reliable and, eventually, costing me some key friendships.
All of this is what will define me in the eyes of others for the rest of my life. It's almost irrelevant that, since then, I held down a full time job for four years, I helped people when they really needed me (not just wanted me there to make up the numbers)and, knowing full-well that I may not get another job in the foreseeable future, I gave up a job with a decent wage to go to university in an attempt to make something of myself.
For those of you who don't know me, there were so many people who told me I wasn't good enough to go to university. Certain friends told me not to bother, Universities told me that I wasn't intelligent enough to study with them, even my own mother told me that I didn't have the drive to get there.
To the doubters, the abandoners and the users I present the proverbial middle finger.
I know what defines me. I know exactly what has shaped me into the person I am today and what will continue to shape me; everything. It's just a shame that the rest of the world is too busy picking fault out of itself to realise.