i have been feeling off lately. Maybe it goes back a bit further than lately. I may have been feeling this way for the better part of the year. The last few weeks just feel like they have been heavier some how. I think it is because my birthday is on the horizon again.
Last November I turned 30. Moving out of my 20’s felt a little weird. I expected as much. It felt weird to move out of my teens, so why not my 20’s? But this has been different. It is like I suddenly felt the weight to be more accomplished than I currently am. As the year has gone by I have been feeling that weight more and more.
I don’t feel like I sat around twiddling my thumbs from 20-29. During my 20’s I earned two university degrees, got married, entered into my career of choice, and had three children. That doesn’t seem too shabby unless I look at what other people have managed to accomplish by age 30. I mean look at this;
Mark Twain published his first short story, “Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog.”
Danish novelist Hans Christian Andersen published his book of fairy tales.
Donald Trump persuaded bankers to lend him $80 million so he could buy the Commodore Hotel.
Alfred Lewis Vail devised Morse code.
Physicist Armand H. L. Fizeau measured the speed of light.
Dr. Narinder Kapany invented fiber optics and designed a glass gastroscope.
Bill Gates was the first person ever to become a billionaire by age 30.
When you look at this list it is a little hard to compare; ‘I finished my undergrad’ to ‘I made a billion dollars’. I don’t actually want a billion dollars, not that I would turn it down if anyone offered it. But I do want to feel like I am accomplishing something big. I want to leave a mark on the world. I want to be awesome. Because of that I find I am often comparing myself to other people to see how I measure up.
That is my problem right there. I keep comparing myself to other people. When I compare myself to others often I don’t feel like I measure up;
I am not an athletic guy
I am not a ‘cool dad’ who surfs, or drives a race car or is always (or ever) fashionable
I have not been able to write a runaway viral blog
I haven’t been able to buy our own home
People do not line up to hear me speak
Most of my ministry ideas have flopped, and those that haven’t have only had minor success
I KNOW that I shouldn’t compare myself to others. But I also know I want to be awesome. In Christian circles this desire would be seen as a symptom of pride. And maybe it is. Maybe that is what holds me back. I don’t know. I don’t have any real answers today, just questions. And just the weight of wanting to be awesome.
Let me ask you. Are you where you expected to be this this point in your life? Have you achieved your goals and dreams? Have you become the awesome person that you want to be?
If not how do you deal with wanting to be awesome?
This is something I struggle with constantly. I think it is very easy to fall into these traps, especially online (and doubly when you’re blogging). I have a friend that I constantly feel inferior too and while I love her, I have a hard time pushing away the jealousy and the feelings of not being good enough when we’re not together. And blogging. OH MY GOODNESS, blogging. There are always people who are better, or those who aren’t better but still manage to go viral, make money, when I am still just trucking along. Photography? I literally get sick with inferiority complexes. It is one of the reasons I’ve had to step back a bit from it, because it feels personal if someone is better than me (and there are going to be better photographers!) or if someone chooses a different photographer.
I haven’t figured it all out. I still have issues with the photography part. And trying not to feel inferior around real life friends. But I think I have found a healthy place to be personally (and therefore, online). Here’s what I’ve been trying to take to heart, and I hope you will too: Don’t measure yourself against anyone else [ESPECIALLY not Mark Twain and Bill Gates!!!], but measure your current self against your past self. When you look at it that way, you can see how much you’ve grown and accomplished.
From my perspective, you’ve accomplished so much. You started this blog and did so many things right and I am so proud of your relatively quick progress. Keep it up. And I hope you can start feeling pride for what you have accomplished.
Thanks for sharing this with me. It is hard to find the balance between wanting to do better and feeling jealous of others. At least I find it hard.
And thank you for your kind words.
I’m finding my awesome even if others don’t always agree….just wish I’d found it earlier in life. I think it’s important to examine your definition of awesome before you decide it isn’t there. 😉
That is a great point. Very wise.
😉 hope you’ve been redefining!
This is definitely not where I expected to be at 29andabit. First of all I never expected to be a mom. I certainly never in a million years thought I would be a stay at home mom.
I planned on getting my BA, then move on to my masters, and move into my career as a psychologist, or social worker. I expected to have a group of friends much like the tv show. We would come together after work at a bar or coffee house and talk about our respectable white collar careers.
In reality I never did finish my bachelors, I’ve worked in call centers for longer than I care to remember, I moved in with my blue collar boyfriend and had a baby and no career to speak of.
I LOVE being home with my son. It is 1000 times more rewarding than any career.
I love most aspects of my life as it is; which is unexpected.
I often times find myself comparing my life to others. The mother that works and still has a good relationship with her child, The single woman laughing carefree. The couple who just bought a house with a yard for their son to play.
The one thing that helps me is to remember I am comparing my behind the scenes to their edited cut. They are just as chaotic and messed up as me in their behind the scenes, but that’s not what we show to the outside world.
Chin up Christopher, your edited cut looks pretty awesome to me.
That is a great point about behind the scenes verses edited cut. And thank you!
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Interesting post. I remember, in my 20s, feeling as if I was supposed to accomplish something amazing. Now I’m about to turn 37 so almost 40 and I haven’t done IT yet, whatever it may be. But I am comfortable with that as I have redefined what it is to be amazing. It’s to be truly happy with who you are. And I am truly happy with my life. I work hard at it but that’s ok. A work in progress is good as long as I’m wandering diwn the right path as I’m progressing. Besides, while writing a viral blog post would be awesome and would def make me happy at the time, it is still only tempory. So I like this new definition better. Besides, you ARE awesome already. Right? Right 🙂
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