My birthday is coming up. & the fact that the end to another year of my life is rapidly approaching makes me consider just how little I have accomplished since the last anniversary of my birth.
I am on the dawn of my 24th birthday & I feel like I have done absolutely nothing with my life. It’s really depressing to think about. It’s also a really distracting & sleep-preventing thought to have bouncing around in your head. Trust me. My last week of sleeps has been wrought with tossing & turning, & I have the unattractive under eye circles to prove it.
I lay down at night & all the nagging, self-deprecating thoughts that I manage to keep at bay during daytime hours come swooping in. They tell me that I am a loser, an idiot, a reject. They remind me that my life lacks direction. They take care to highlight my major flaws & laugh in the face of my pitiful accomplishments. They point out the fact that I still live with my parents, don’t have a real job, & am currently going to school for something that doesn’t necessarily create a lot of career opportunities for me post-graduation.
Oh yeah, my subconscious also takes pride in reminding me that I am alone.
I think turning a year older provides a good opportunity for me to beat myself up, & I take full advantage of it. It’s an excuse for me to remind myself about all of my shitty attributes & cry myself to sleep (when I can, in fact, sleep). And as much as I want to jump start my life, I have the suspicious feeling that my overly critical approach to my latest life dissatisfaction isn’t really helping me any. I understand the need to be hard on myself (obviously) because I have to hold myself accountable for my mistakes and self-imposed setbacks… But I also need to be aware of how I treat myself, and whether or not my brand of criticism is helping or hurting.
I think I am using the success of others a measuring stick of success for my own life, & that isn’t how it works. A wise friend once told me that there is always going to be someone prettier, smarter, thinner, & more successful than me. But that doesn’t nullify my own accomplishments or myself as a person.
If I continue to place myself in an imaginary competition with everyone else on the planet… more often that not I will come out the loser. Everybody goes through life at their own pace. Everyone measures success differently, more importantly. I need to decide what success means to me, before I can decide how successful I am. I can’t look at a rich person & wish I was more wealthy. I can’t look at a thin person & wish I was more svelte. I can’t look at a smart person & wish I was more intelligent. I have to look in the mirror & decide what I want my version of success to look like.
So yeah, my birthday is coming up. & I am going to be a 24 year-old woman who lives with her parents, has no money, no real job, & hasn’t decided what trajectory her life is going on post-university graduation. But, that might be okay. I don’t want to let my past lack of success effect my future opportunities to become successful. Right now is not as good as it is going to get for me — I haven’t reached my peak at 24, & I don’t want to.
I have an entire lifetime to make something of myself. Why rush it?