Some Things Aren’t Worth Stressing Over

As part of the application process for Praxis, I had to answer the question, “Why are you a good fit for Praxis?” When I finished writing my response, I had someone read it over for editing and feedback. One of the suggested edits was that I replace the word “forced” with “convinced” (I’ll skip the context because it’s irrelevant to the story).

At first I disagreed. But the more I thought about it, the more unsure I became. Maybe I should use “convinced”. It was technically the more accurate word, if you read every word with its literal meaning. On the other hand, “forced” was more dramatic, and I thought the sentence called for it.

Now, I’ve always been a little over-obsessive about my writing. I often spend too much time thinking about how something sounds or overanalyzing how the reader will interpret it. This time my concern seemed justified though. There was a little more ‘at stake’ (read: pressure). I really wanted to be accepted into Praxis. It sounds crazy after the fact, but I thought this one word could tip my application into the reject pile. It had to be perfect.

So, I typed “forced/convinced” into the sentence and stared at it. I read the sentence over and over. Each time using the other word. I read it in my head. I read it out loud. I’d decide to go with one word, second guess myself, and then decide the other word was better. This went on for 30 minutes. Finally I chose to go with “forced”, the word I’d originally written. I copy-pasted everything into Praxis’ application text box, hit Submit, and closed my laptop. It felt good to be done.

Later that night I opened my laptop back up and clicked over to MS Word. That’s when I saw it: “forced/convinced”. I had forgotten to delete “convinced” before submitting it to Praxis! I had decided which word was better, but the only thing they’d know was that I was indecisive. After a minute of panic and self-reproach, I cracked a smile and couldn’t help but laugh. I obsessed over this trivial detail for half an hour, and in the end it didn’t matter. Talk about perfect being the enemy of the good.

I took it as a sign of some sort. Like the universe was trying to tell me something. I don’t know. The important thing to remember is some stuff just isn’t worth stressing over.

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