What the !@$# is wrong with me? Seriously!
I have a wonderful husband who loves and adores me; a supportive family; encouraging friends; a successful career and my health. What more could a girl ask for? Well, in my case — everything.
It’s so messed up. Most people, myself included, attend book readings/signings by their favorite authors/bloggers hoping to leave inspired. And I am — most of the time. But then there are other times, or sometimes within that same reading/singing, that envy and self-pity begin to creep up and leave me feeling like complete shit.
Why? Hell if I know. If I did, I wouldn’t do it. And the worst part is I can feel it coming on and, before I know it, the envy slowly washes over me and my formerly smiling face vanishes into a seething one.
I know, I know: “Stop comparing yourself to others.” “Stop comparing your success to theirs.” “The grass isn’t always greener…” “Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to their highlight reel.” I know. I’ve said and/or written those very lines about a million times.
But sometimes, ugh, just sometimes I wish it was me sitting in that chair, being interviewed, signing the books, meeting my fans. And I already know what you’re thinking: “well, what’s stopping you?”
The short answer: I don’t know.
The long answer: A couple of things…
- Not feeling like I’m good enough (hello, imposter syndrome!)
- Being afraid of my own success. Because what if I do “make it” — then what? What will I strive for? What will I do next?
I don’t want to peak “too soon,” but for crying out loud, I only have ONE year left to make Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list. Yes, Forbes. Because I shoot for the moon, dammit. Go big or go home.
And please, don’t tell me about how Obama and Oprah never made any of these lists. It’s not exactly like I’m going to grow up to become president of the United States or a multi-millionaire media mogul.
And the irony in all of this is that I’m sitting here writing this in my Wonder Woman pajamas, but I don’t feel so wonderful. I feel average — not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just not the life I envisioned for myself: a life of mediocrity.
I skipped a grade; made honor roll every quarter; was valedictorian of my eighth-grade class; editor-in-chief of my high school newspaper and literary magazine; copy chief of my college newspaper; graduated magna cum laude; and became an award-winning journalist.
And now what? Am I supposed to be content with paying it forward and empowering the next generation without accomplishing anything great myself? I don’t think so.
I know there’s more in store. I know that there is greatness awaiting me. But patience hasn’t always been my greatest virtue, especially when it comes to my career. Who am I kidding? The same could be said about my life goals as well.
But, like the old saying goes, I know I should be careful what I wish for. And I’m trying. Because that’s all I can do, really, despite my fruitless quest for perfection. It doesn’t exist, so why bother?
Because I’ve always been the best at everything I do and now I’m just average. I’m no longer the Beyonce, I’m just another girl in the group. But maybe, just maybe, that isn’t such a bad thing. Maybe it’s okay to be average. Maybe I should be a little kinder to myself, the way I am to my friends and my coworkers, the girls I meet when I’m volunteering and the woman I meet when I’m networking.
A little gentler and a lot more encouraging. Because, despite the Wonder Woman jammies, I’m not a super hero. There’s no cape over here or magical gold cuffs (although that would be awesome).
Nope, in the infamous words of Gwen Stefani, “I’m just a girl.” A bad-ass girl. But a girl nonetheless. It’s okay to be average. It’s okay to just be.