We are taught at a young age to always be making progress, always do better, always follow the rules. It starts small - you need to pass 2nd grade to get to 3rd grade, and A's are better than B's. As we get older, this continues. There are these stigmas in the air that say you're supposed to be married by 25, then have kids, you're supposed to own a house before you're 30, you should be making X number of dollars, you should weigh this much, and so on.
To an extent, it's healthy to have some outside pressure and have big goals, but it becomes unhealthy when it consumes you. When you feel like a failure for not following the status quo, or when all you can think about is how far away you are from hitting one of your goals, or when you feel like you're doing everything wrong even if no one is directly tell you that. That's when it becomes unhealthy. That's when you have to turn to yourself to make a change.
I have been fortunate enough to have some pretty amazing people in my life who have inspired me in their own little ways to write the blog post today. Some are close friends and family and some are simply digital encounters. It amazes me how much someone I've never met, can influence me with their presence online. But anywho, what I want to talk about today is learning to be ok. This is something I am currently working on. I am a perfectionist and a people pleaser which basically means I've spent my whole life trying to meet the status quo and make sure the people around me are happy about it. *barf*
As I've gotten older and started to break the status quo in my own ways, I've discovered how awesome it is!! Lol, but also that it's not easy. I can go around blaming society or pinpointing every little thing anyone has ever said to me, but where does that get us? It gets us nowhere. The only way we can feel good about ourselves is if we learn to be ok. We literally have to teach ourselves and remind ourselves every day that we are good enough, we are ok right where we are at. A good friend of mine tells me "there is no right way" and it's true!! Everyone acts like life is step 1, step 2, step 3 and if you have to go back to step 1 then you fucked up. But we can't let ourselves believe that. There is no "going back", ever. That "mistake" really brought you to step 4, not back to 1, not every step feels good. And it doesn't matter if your "step 16" was someone else's "step 5" because there is no right way of doing things.
Even people who are on the "same step" don't look the same. I have like 5 part-time jobs and to someone else that looks crazy, but why? I'm making the same amount of money, I'm the same age, I'm making the same progress, whatever it is, just because someone does it differently than you, doesn't make one person more right than the other.
Even if you're the perfect tall blonde whose married before 25 with 2 kids, in a beautiful suburban home, working a great steady job, there is someone, somewhere in the world saying you're doing something wrong. The world is never going to tell us we're perfect or that we are exactly where we need to be; we have to do that for ourselves! In whatever way that means to you. Learn to be ok with where you are. Is there progress to be made? Of course! Are there things you want to do differently? Always! BUT, that doesn't mean you have to hate on yourself for where you are at right now.
Take a deep breath, think about the person you were a year ago, five years ago. Even if you feel you're in a worst place than you were then, you're still making progress, you're still learning in your own way. Something I try to remind myself when I look at others and get jealous is there isn't one level in life. There aren't levels at all, but for visual purposes, imagine someone else who's the same age (same "level") and they are way further along in their career than you and you feel like a piece of shit. But that's just one category they might (looks can be deceiving too) have a higher level than you. But while they were increasing their career level, you were busy increasing your parenting level, your education level, romantic relationship level, traveling the world level, or mental health level, etc. Do you see what I mean? Someone who looks like they have it all is lacking in something you're skilled at. Someone who has tons of experience in XYZ is lacking experience in your best subject. You just don't notice because you're too focused on that one level. We all know the saying "the grass isn't always greener on the other side", but it's more than that! It's reminding ourselves that regardless of how green our grass is, we need to be ok with it, or maybe we don't even want grass! Let's tear it up and put in a pool, that's ok too!
The world is never going to tell you you're perfect, it's unfortunate, I know, but the best thing we can do is believe in ourselves and our own path. And better yet, support others in their path! Don't make someone else feel like they have to fit the status quo if you don't like it either. You are exactly where you are supposed to be and every wrong turn you feel like you make, is only bringing you closer and making you better. Be ok with who you are and where you are, no one else will do it for you.
Thanks for reading my rant! 🤘