I’m not sure what it is but I’ve been feeling different lately. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve finally become comfortable with my life. Maybe I can finally see the framework of all the hard work I’ve done. Perhaps it’s a sign that I’m just getting older and all the bullshit that I wasn’t used to in my thirties I’ve, now, finally gotten accustomed to. No matter what it is, I feel that I have gotten into a positive pattern in my life that is more that just a mood.
There was a time in my life where I used to talk about why are things happening to me. I would complain about it actually. I would make these wilds accusations about how life sucks because my luck was bad. Then I realized that my bad luck has to do with lack of preparation. I also realized that I was competing with people that I know. This is not something that I openly admitted and it wasn’t something born from jealousy. It was a bit of a barometer I had in the back of my mind. Sure, bad things happen but lack of confidence and lack of true life skills combine to kick anyone’s ass if they are not prepared for it.
In my younger days I felt like I was on the defensive too much. I let things happen instead of making them happen. That was one of many lessons I learned from my divorce. Generally most men will talk about their divorce as if shit just happened without realizing that a bad marriage is like dead plant…you let it die. That was me, while I made somethings happen in my life, I was more content on watching everything else.
At some point I just got tired of that. I got tired of talking and complaining instead of just doing. I realized that by making that adjustment from letting things happen to making things happen that the bad luck I was complaining about started to change. I found myself being more prepared to deal with life. With every misfortune I parried, came many openings of opportunity that involved risk.
Now, I find myself in a Superman 3 moment where I am battling myself. The version of me that is more responsible for his actions vs the callous and less responsible me I was just a few years ago. There are things I ‘m doing to correct past mistakes and to right some wrongs. I can’t fix everything but I can try to do things better.
I’m also competing with myself creatively and professionally. I was good at my job in Syracuse so it was an adjustment to start fresh at Barnard. I’m trying to be as good as I was and, in many ways, I am better because I’m doing things I’ve never done before. But then I think about book two and how I’m going to be able to surpass myself. Hanging Upside Down is an ambitious venture for me that I’m still working on from a marketing stand point. The thing about Book two will be how different it is from my first novel. I’m trying to out do myself and it’s a bit of a challenge.
With time I’ve grown to see my duality and be comfortable with it. The only way I can be a successful as I want to be is to be better than I was. No other competition matters.
One thought on “Competing with Myself”
I think you’re right on the money. We eventually should get to the point where we realize that it doesn’t matter what others do or say. It only matters that we do our best…what we know is our best. And that we continue to surpass that personal best.
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