There’s a reason that our brains — and the unforgiving permanence of the Internet — won’t let us forget moments of shame. Of course they lead to personal growth and self-awareness, but it gets even better! The ability to detail those encounters in front of an audience might make enduring any level of humiliation worthwhile. If you’ve had the chance to watch the docu-series "The Mortified Guide", or its precursor, "Mortified Nation", you’ll understand the beauty of vulnerability.
The show places adults on a stage where they recount their most embarrassing moments from youth. The content they share ranges from diary entries and online chat logs to old photos and intimate experiences. The humanity in watching adults reflect on the past is both hilarious and valuable. It is therapeutic to know that, one day, we will be able to laugh at our cringeworthy moments. While the participants are far removed from the scenarios they describe, perhaps that distance isn’t always necessary. We can appreciate our errors sooner if we learn to laugh at ourselves, and the series is a foundation for learning how to do that.
If you often trash old journal entries or word documents, stop that habit now! There will inevitably be a day where you’ll want to understand where your mind was years ago, and you will appreciate the comedic value in your words.
In the first episode of "The Mortified Guide", a woman details her past affinity for “men in uniform”, which, to her preteen self, equates to a man in nearly any uniform at all; e.g. waiters and tour guides. She describes fantasies of guys she encountered a grand total of one time, and is significantly relatable when it comes to early crushes.
While we’re being honest, I’ll share an embarrassing moment as well. In high school, one of my best friends was on a quest to play the role of matchmaker and eventually set her sights on me. I told her about the guy I liked, so naturally she chased him around the room filled with our classmates, demanding that he take immediate action in pursuing me. He was alarmed, although kind, in his response, and nothing ever came of that. In retrospect, it was all for the best, and I love her for being so blunt. After leaving high school, I became much more open with my feelings (without yelling and chasing) — it’s all a learning experience!
"The Mortified Guide" is available to stream on Netflix and is up for purchase on Amazon. You can also check out their Official Website for extra mortifying content!