What does it mean to be great. In a previous post I noted how difficult it has been for me to understand the difference between being great by the standards of others, and growing by your own personal standards. Throughout my undergraduate degree I remember feeling that I wasn’t good enough as a student or as a person because I was average, because I wasn’t like the “cooler” girls in class, because I arrived 10-15 minutes before a lecture and walked around with a book-bag a size and a half larger than my body – at the university level (what can I say, I like to be prepared). I carried myself as any unique individual would, embracing my little quirks on the outside….but beating myself up on the inside. Wrangling with with past experiences, feelings of inadequacy, chips on my shoulder the size of meteorite craters. My own worst enemy, my harshest critic, the biggest stumbling block in my way was myself.
It’s so funny how hard bad habits are to change. Even though I’m writing this blog primarily in an attempt to work through my own feelings, and to a certain extent, to help others who are feeling the same way know they’re not alone, I find myself starting at the “statistics” tab on WordPress. Trying to beat the views I got the day before, wondering if I’m not being as good as I can be, if I’m not pushing myself as hard as I should be, if I’m living up to my true potential…at blogging (stop for a second and take in how ridiculous that is). I cannot turn off my brain.
Every day is a struggle to break away from the constraints that I place on myself. Every day I legitimately have to stop myself from freaking out, from telling myself I’m not good enough, from comparing myself to others. Mentally, I’m the metaphorical equivalent of Jekyll and Hyde.
I was telling someone today that sometimes I wish I didn’t want to make an impact on the world, because then my life maybe would be easier. I could just make money, buy things, be happy. But the fact that I’d like to do more with my talents and realize my true potential means now I have to put effort into living – which is in itself a challenge. Every day becomes something you have to work toward, something new you have achieve, you have to take a step forward. And that’s some scary sh!t. You can no longer be satisfied with floating through life, being led, mimicking sheep. You have to actively seek out your place in the world. At every step of the way you have to rage against the norm.
This is where I’m at right now, and every night I have anxiety dreams, horror stories of being back behind a desk. In my dreams I haven’t left my job, I’m typing away at a blank screen, I’m talking to no one, laughing with no one…it’s just me, my computer screen and endless subconscious anxiety. And when I awake the first thing I think when I’m shaken awake is, “Am I late for work!? What day is today!?” – I kid you not…I’m laughing at myself while I type because how crazy is it that my worst nightmares involve me being back at a cubicle #smh
Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
That’s what I’ve been telling myself since I realized I made a hell of a lot of mistakes…and more so, since I reached the point where I could comfortably say that, that was okay. At least I was trying, at least I was fighting, at least I was staying true to myself.
Do something…say something…risk something, dare mighty things.