Jun 3, 2012

"What sets you apart can feel like a burden, but it's not."


 I was flying home from Dallas and while watching the in-flight TV, they had this short segment on the Olympics. I'm going to say this at the risk of sounding unpatriotic, but I've never truly been invested in the Olympics. I was never a crazy gymnastics fan, but I did love the figure skating (for the choreography). However one thing I did relate to during the Olympics was the overall theme of going after a dream, setting goals, and doing whatever it takes to attain them. (Although you couldn't pay me to run for a living, and a dream of winning a medal by skiing down a slope sounds more like a nightmare...)

In the segment, one of the newer gold medalists was talking about Jackie Joyner-Kersee and how she was intimidating; also how she was a friendly gal but she "had you thinking about her when you should be thinking about the race."

This got me thinking (heh). I'd say it's mostly true that many of us are at a point where we're starting to see successes or breakthroughs in our lives: in love, our jobs, our living situations. But at the same time, we're noticing others' success. I'm fact, we probably only notice those doing "better," and more often than not, it can create an inferiority complex.

It might not even be a competitor you're envious or worried of; most of the time it's people you love (a sister, a friend, a colleague). Furthermore, it could be the people who are judging you that you're more worried about. But champions don't think about their competitors or their critics -- they think about the gold medal.

I've had recurring dreams the past two weeks that I'm graduating college, but with the three finals I have left, I haven't attended any classes and couldn't tell you the professor, where the test is, the time, etc. I feel unprepared and anxious. And then I actually (by God's grace) graduate -- but I'm sobbing as I'm one of the last people to leave the Theta house and haven't packed a thing, with a heavily approaching deadline.

So of course I looked this up on a dream interpretation site by searching the terms "testing" and "graduation," and here's what it said:
Test: See Exam
To dream that you are taking an exam signifies insecurities, fear of not meeting others' expectations, and fear of failure

Graduation
To dream that you are at a graduation represents your achievements. You are successfully transitioning to a higher level. And you are ready to move forward with your accomplishments and perform more important things.
To dream that you do not have enough units or credits to graduate suggests that you are not giving yourself enough credit about your successes and achievements. You are short-changing yourself for your accomplishments.

Whether you love your job or not, there might be times where you feel super confident, but others where there's a twinge of, "Am I making everyone happy? How can I improve myself? Are my coworkers satisfied? What about my bosses? Do I surpass their expectations? "

I don't know for a fact, but I can speculate that most people feel this way at one point or another, and I encourage you to stay calm and focus on yourself. There's a time and a place to be generous and aware of others, but when it comes to your life and "how successful you are," I hope that each of you realizes it doesn't matter who else is doing what and how fast they're doing it. It just matters that you're doing what's best for you, and that you're happy. Improving yourself is only successful when you do it for you -- not other people. 

On a related note, just because someone else is happy and successful doesn't mean you won't be or can't attain the same level of success. One thing I notice out here in LA is that the moment someone else gets a break, everyone else becomes envious or depressed. "They've stolen the spotlight!" Everyone has the opportunity to shine. Stop comparing yourself!

Anyway, I partly write this because of these college grad dreams that have been plaguing me (and probably that I've been graduated three years now...) and because so many of my friends seem to be accelerating into adulthood with flying colors -- most of my best friends are attached and furthermore, engaged. They're getting promoted at their jobs and are close to buying houses. Every time I'm around them and hear of their successes, I beam with pride but get that little voice sometimes that says, "you're really far behind." And then I tell it to shut the hell up.

I'm going to wrap this up with a quote I just heard the absolutely brilliant Emma Stone just said:
"What sets you apart can feel like a burden and it's not. A lot of the time it what makes you great."
PS: if you missed it, here's my profile for PopSugar! It's short but a fun watch :) I love God's mysterious plans and can't wait to see where else He leads me in my life.

1 comment:

ECElliott said...

Kirbs, I love that you wrote this because I swear I feel the same way! I've compared my world to yours and thought, "I'll never have such an exciting and adventurous life! She's so free!" My "acceleration to adulthood" in AR is, let's just say, a little less glamorous than yours in LA. And you're right on- comparison is the root of all inferiority. The truth is, we are both exactly where we should be. You would be miserable in AR with a boring job, dog, and a house... And I would be totally lost in LaLaLand!!! The grass is always greener on the other side, until you get the water bill. Luckily, we get to continue to be happy for each other and I get to live vicariously through you and your adventures in LA :)

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