I thought it was just me. And I didn’t have a term for it, but I never felt comfortable in myself. I was never smart enough (so many smart kids in my high school), pretty enough (I was cute I guess, but felt awkward. And so many beautiful girls around), or even the best flute player in school (I was demoted from first chair to fourth. It demoralized me in ways that I wish the band director only knew. I think ranking kids in music is WRONG, but that’s a post for another day.)
The takeaway here: I didn’t feel GOOD ENOUGH.
Good enough for what, one might ask? This is an unwinnable fight here. As we all know, someone will always be better than we are at whatever it is.
Advertising preys on this. Not to mention Facebook!
Now I’m not a parent (yet), but I don’t know quite when parenting became a competitive sport. That is insane, people.
Stop the madness!
Honestly, life is hard enough. I mean, we all need to make money somehow, find a place to live, buy food to eat. But can we stop competing and comparing?
Maybe that is impossible. We always look to others. For direction, for inspiration, or well, to see if we are doing things “right”.
Well, if you are a law abiding citizen who can support yourself and you are happy, I’d say you are doing pretty well.
There are SO many ways to support yourself. I am only beginning to see the myriad of different possibilities the internet offers, for one example. I mean, ten years ago a lot of these things didn’t exist.
So why do we keep shoving ourselves into boxes? I mean that literally – cubicles, subway cars, cars. Putting ourselves in places that don’t fit. Places that kill our spirit.
I know, I’ve been doing it my entire life. School classrooms, college dorm rooms, and yes the dreaded cubicle. I hated them all.
So I’m not doing them anymore. I’m not going back for a PhD. I have two master’s thanks anyway. I don’t need someone else telling me I have to research papers and memorize information on a topic I’m not remotely interested in.
Is that what we were put on earth to do?
I would answer no. We are all unique individuals. Comparing, while inevitable, is a losing game. It’s apples and oranges. Completely pointless.
I mean apples are great – well, the Granny Smith ones, I hate mealy red apples – but without the contrast of other food, eating would be pretty boring. Am I right?
So no, I’m not the best employee at my current job. Because it doesn’t let me express who I am. It constricts me. There are people who are much better at it than I am. I felt lazy and bad for years (and friends and relatives told me I was.) In reality, I just was completely out of synch with who I was. I don’t fit in with the family dogma of “get a stable job. Stop complaining.”
Well, I am going to stop complaining, but I’m not dead yet. I will continue to express myself and see where that leads me. I encourage you to really sit and listen to that inner voice. It may be afraid to speak to you, but trust me it’s there. Beneath the comparing, and complaining, it’s “you” trying to get out and show the world your true colors.