Every now and then I have to break up the ‘fun’ posts with something a little more ‘thoughtful’, or else the name of this blog would be pointless!
Today I just wanted to talk about the idea, or feeling, that life is a ‘race’ that we’re all running and if you aren’t keeping up you’re not worth anything. Every feel like that? I blame the internet culture and the way we edit our lives to show the good parts and all our accomplishments but never show the struggles. When I started this blog I always had it in my mind that I would show the reality of life as a struggling writer but, recently, I’ve neglected that and have only been showing the days where I do good things because it feels good to celebrate a good job, the only problem with that is it’s not real and it makes other people see me [as an example] as someone who is doing better than them and it makes me feel like I need to keep up with this image so I’m constantly comparing myself to myself and to the other people showing their accomplishments… phew. Tiring.
I was walking to work this morning and I played my usual game; If I’d walked the other way, taken the other path, where would the other me be by now? I imagine a ghost-like version of myself walking in front of me or behind me and I race them. Is that insane? Maybe! It’s like a real life Mario Kart time trial where you’re racing against your best time and the little guy driving in front seems to be going faster than you can ever urge your little kart but you forge on, anyway, feeling the surge of adrenaline when you overtake him at the last second and come in first… again, just me?
It’s so silly because whenever I hear other people complain that they aren’t moving fast enough; in their career, with their hobbies, with their fitness etc. I tell them they don’t need to rush – life is happening at the right pace, you just need to remember you’re living YOUR life, and other people’s lives aren’t there for comparison so stop holding yourself up to them yada yada yada. Except I do it! I know I do it; I find it so difficult to keep writing when I’ve been doing it for years and years and I’m still paddling around in the shallows whereas there are a million people published every year and they’re all younger, or better, or blonder, or thinner or luckier… It’s exhausting and it’s dangerous. It makes me want to give up on my dreams which is annoying because I know the only reason people succeed is because they push through these feelings. No one [or very few people] have it easy on any path in life but you keep moving forward and either you get what you wanted or what you wanted changes and you find something else.
Does this strike any nerves? Sound familiar? I hope so and I hope you know that you are doing well, in whatever you’re doing. I think it’s really important we remind each other that life isn’t a race at all! Log off Twitter and Instagram for a hot second and just live life without the need to please other people with your success or the need to quantify your work with the work of others. You can do it.
2 thoughts on “The Race”
I definitely really compare myself to other people on the internet, but I tend to feel it more strongly about people I know in real life. It sometimes seems like my friends have more fortunate lives than I do (even though I’m doing just fine!), and I do get a little jealous occasionally (and I have talked it out with them — I’m not just sitting and seething). For instance, my best friend has a job that she enjoys, that pays enough for her live on her own, and has a spectacular girlfriend. But everyone has a different experience — when I admitted it to her, she said, “yeah I have all these great things, but I can’t enjoy them as much because of my depression and anxiety.” So it kind of helps me to remember that everyone is struggling just as much as I am, even if it’s a hidden sort of struggle. We’re all just trying our best to get by!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Exactly! I do sometimes feel that way about real life friends, too. Definitely important to remember everyone experiences things differently!
LikeLiked by 1 person