Am I enough for… myself? For my high standards, the pressure I put on myself, my shabby brand of perfectionism? I often have thoughts such as ‘I wish I had read more books in my life’ or ‘why have I wasted so much time not writing when I’ve had plenty of opportunity to’ or ‘I should have kept up a high fitness level, and not quit painting or sports or card making or cycling’. And then I will bargain with myself. ‘If by the age of 25 you have written a novel, gotten fit, read 3,000 books, travelled and rediscovered art, then, then you will be good enough.’
And this mindset limits my enjoyment of things I really love. Time that I could be spending lost in my own world writing I spend berating myself for my word count and disjointed chapters. Reading can start to feel like a race to read as much as possible, rather than a process of discovering and enjoying new authors, writing styles and ideas.
Obviously, this isn’t a very healthy way to live. I don’t know exactly what the root cause of it is. Maybe it has something to do with realising now more than ever that I am definitely no longer a child, or maybe it has something to do with society telling women that their lives are over once they turn 30, but I am always striving towards (or berating myself for not) bettering myself. But not in a cool, fun, productive way. In a way that makes me feel like I am never ever enough. I also have the tendency to analytically compare myself to others, usually those who I admire. Comparing yourself to others is nearly always a bad idea.
So I am going to try to combat this. I want to make the most of the present, the moments as they occur. I will try my best to write without regretting lost time. I will read because I love it, and because it’s important to me, not because I need to ‘catch up’. And I also think that it’ll be interesting to change my attitude towards ‘quitting’. If we stop doing something, we don’t necessarily stop doing it forever. We just kind of… take a break from it for a while. For example, this year I have started cycling again, after ‘quitting’ of sorts at the age of fourteen. And I also miss doing art regularly sometimes, and would love to take art classes in the future when I have the time and money. It’s okay to put things on the back burner, and come back to them when the time is right. No one can do everything all of the time, and I’m saying this as a reminder to myself as opposed to a preachy message to anyone else.
So for now, I will try my best to enjoy myself as I am now, a product of my life experiences so far, the places I’ve been, the people I’ve known, the books and media I have consumed, the hobbies I have undertaken over the years. And this is enough. And to prove this to myself, I am going to spontaneously post this blog with minimal editing.