I can beat around the bush, but anyone who has seem me attempt to play hockey can tell you, I’m not very good with a stick. So in the bluntest, shortest way possible, here’s what it is: I’ve been telling myself I am a loser. For like, four months.
I have been beating myself senseless with the same message, wrapped in a few different sentences. That I’m a loser.
For the longest time I was perfectly happy with who I was, and striving happily for who I want to be. But sometimes a combination of life and personality knocks you on your ass, and your higher, happy self writes checks your more vulnerable self can’t cash. That’s what happened to me.
All I kept hanging over my head was everyting I’m not, everything I should be or should have been by now, and all the things other people are better at than me. You’re not good enough you’re not good enough you’re not good enough.
Not a good enough writer, teacher, girlfriend, blogger, person. I am less, inferior.
I have been beating myself up, constantly. Because I am not a writer yet. Because I am unsuccessful, because I procrastinate, because I am not skinny, because I am not rich, because other peple look better than I do, because I feel weaker than other people.
I know I don’t write much right now. I can imagine that to a reader, I am only a grumpy shadow of this happy ‘inspirational’ person who used to write here, but one thing is the same: I always write straight from the heart. This is in my heart right now. I am dealing with a rampant inferiority complex combined with perfectionism. Sorry, that’s just the way it is.
And I think we’ve all felt that way about ourselves on way or another, almost everyone knows the feeling of not being good enough.
For whatever reason it may be. Maybe because you were rejected for a job or school, or some guy didn’t like you as much as you hoped. Maybe more self-inflicted, like beating yourself up over useless stuff. Like how you don’t exercise as much as someone else. Or how you just so happen to not have your dream job while people around you all seem to follow their passion. Maybe because you are not as thin as someone else, not as popular, not as pretty, because you don’t have a huge impressive wardrobe.
But that’s just not how it works, sweethearts.
You are not less. You are not a loser. No matter what you have or what you do, there is something within you that is perfect and enough. It is worthy of love and acceptance. It is pure, it is you, and it’s that deepest part of you, that is good enough no matter what.
It’s something that doesn’t need to be altered. It’s from that place that you can grow or improve, sure, but that basic inner thing is perfect as it is.
I decided to go back to that. I had a week off and I decided to completely cut the whole “I have to”-sentence out of my vocabulary. I decided to not do anything about anything. Because actually, I don’t have to do anything. I am my own self-assigned drill sergeant, and I fucking fired myself in that department.
Instead, I just did whatever I fucking pleased. (A+ 10/10 highly recommend)
I forgot about everyone else’s life, how they look, what they do. How everyone is doing these amazing things, crossing off everything on their to-do lists, constantly working out, buying amazing clothes, signing amazing deals. No offense, but I stopped caring.
I just enjoyed my days for what they were, and that was nice. I didn’t go “tomorrow I’m going to change my entire life!!1!!” Because I just want to be for a little while and just enjoy. Just find joy.
And so I went to the market, not because I have to eat extremely healthy or otherwise the world will end, but because I had a craving for beet-grapefruit juice and wanted pretty green limes in my fruit bowl.
I got a haircut, just because. I took myself out for a coffee date, not because I had to write a couple of thousand words but because I wanted to sit in a coffee shop and drink coffee.
I read a lot, because I wanted the comfort of books over Internet and television. Not because I felt I had to. I watched Finding Nemo, Brave and Tron because I LOVE Disney movies. I played my favorite computer adventure games of all time (Secret of Monkey Island and Curse of the Monkey Island) without a constant nagging I should have been exercising or writing instead.
I wrote for my eyes only, and rekindled my connection with my imaginary friends (they’re really fun once you get to know them). I forgot about ‘having to blog’ because my blog has always been a labor of love for writing and self help, not of pressure to deliver to an audience.
I went to bed late, and slept in. I didn’t exercise once this week. Why not, you ask? Because I don’t have to. I didn’t want to and so I didn’t.
I didn’t make any to do lists. I sat on my balcony, got a tan. Graded some papers — Weird, I know but I enjoy grading. I ordered Indian take out and realized Indian food really is my favorite food . I bought myself a few simple t-shirts and a pair of jeans, on sale.
And you know what? I feel better. More accepting of how I feel and how things are. Less preoccupied with “having to bounce back asap”, with “making a comeback”, with feeling better because other people are expecting me to. This is how it is, this is how I feel and that’s okay.
Sometimes you gotta learn the hard way, and sometimes you gotta stand still even when everyone and everything around you is moving.
And now, to draw this long-winded article illustrating my complexes to a close, I present you with the punch line:
If there is anyone out there like me, I hope you get something from this. If you are tired, fed up with saying “I have to” and “I’m not good enough” to yourself, sick from feeling like you’re forcing, I hope you can find it in you to stop and take a break. Not for ever, but for as long as you can and as long as you need.
Because you are good enough. Even if you’re not striving and achieving and competing and coming out on top. Because you got something in you that’s already perfect. You don’t have to do anything. If you had forgotten about that, I hope this story made you remember.
And in case of TL;DR at least you got to admire my new sweater and haircut!