I’ve been thinking about how we are all performers in a way. At least for me, I keep trying because I don’t want to be seen as a failure. When I don’t meet my personal goals, I feel like a complete failure. When I try my best and don’t receive appreciation or recognition, I feel like the most worthless person on the planet.
I watched the recent Taylor Swift documentary this weekend. She was talking about her song “this is me trying” and how as children in school, it’s easier to feel recognized for trying because we get those pats on the back and gold stars. But then we get to be adults, and in life, we don’t get those physical gold stars anymore. People won’t recognize when we’re trying our best. Sure, people will recognize the super high achievers. But there are no hand claps or shouts of bravo for the single mother trying to make ends meet. For the person with depression and suicidal thoughts where not overdosing on pills or driving off a cliff is a sign of them trying. For the alcoholic who chooses to not pick up that wine bottle and try their damn best to be sober.
I think that’s why social media was created. Likes and hearts are the “life” version of getting a gold star in school. But truly, we need to be wary that it doesn’t define us. Whether you get no likes or ten thousand, that doesn’t define our worth. We are still the unique individuals who God made us to be, each with our own talents.
I say this because I also need the reminder. This past month, I didn’t write the 50K words needed to finish Nanowrimo. I didn’t bake the pies I wanted to try for Thanksgiving. I didn’t exercise for over half the month. True, it was due to illness and fatigue that I couldn’t accomplish my goals, but that didn’t stop me from feeling like a failure, doesn’t stop me from feeling like a failure.
However, instead of focusing on what I didn’t do. I’m trying to look at what I did do. I made the choice to rest when my body needed healing. I made the choice to go to the ER instead of avoiding it (my go-to behavior in the past). I did write about 20K words of my story (which counts the outline). I did turn in the line edits to the book that I am getting published.
Even the act of getting up in the morning is a choice. It’s an act of trying. And for anyone who might be struggling. Who is trying but feeling like no one notices. I just want you to know, I see you. I recognize your courage.
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This post is like a hug, and I want to send virtual hugs. One thing that influences me to overwork is the hustle culture online and people who say “never do anything for free”. It’s.. hard. I was in a motivational slump in November because I was so burnt out and I’m still not out of it. We need to lower standards that we set for ourselves.