No upscale apartment or glamorous outfits. No wondrous adventures or exciting freelance career. No “brow game” or perfect hair days.
I’m no yogi. I’m no actress. I’m no Kardashian.
Yet for nearly all of my twenties I wanted these things, felt like I should live up to these things. I spent years watching people live their incredible lives, wondering how I missed the memo and what I was doing wrong — I mean, I did what I was supposed to: I went to a great university, I graduated as class Salutatorian, I was fortunate enough to get a job right away. Just within a few short years I achieved my lifetime goal of becoming an “Art Director.” All very commendable feats, yet still I’m left feeling unfulfilled.
To be clear, these superficial ideals that I set for myself weren’t something I consciously recognized at the time. It took reflection and perspective on my part to figure out the root of my feeling of inadequacy and complacency. Turns out my disappointment wasn’t the result of wanting to live an Instagram-worthy lifestyle at all;
In actuality, I simply didn’t know who I was and I was searching for myself in other people.
When you look at someone else’s life and think ‘I wish that was my life,’ you are compacting self-hatred. You lose sight of what you already have, of who you are. When you’re busy trying to emulate someone else because you think that’s who you want to be, it becomes difficult to recognize the value in you. You’re living by comparison, measuring your self-worth by someone else’s successes. Quit comparing.
It was a hard-learned lesson, but that’s how I ended up here on Medium.
Each of us has something to offer. Not to the world, but to ourselves. I think that’s where success lies: within, not without. When you can identify your strengths and motivations without measuring them to what’s working for someone else, you can let yourself be you, for you.
For me, I have embraced that I am a storyteller. That was the memo and I ignored it. It’s my purpose, it’s why I am here on Medium, to take you with me on this journey as a new author — one in a million already successful writers. I’m no J.K. Rowling, I’m no GRRM, I’m no Stephen King.
I am me, and that’s more than good enough.