Acceptance is the hardest part of living
I didn’t want this life. I didn’t want to be who I am today. I wanted more. I wanted to be in a huge band, touring and playing arena shows, I wanted to be a celebrity, I wanted to be huge. I wanted more money, more success, more everything. I wanted.
But the life I’m living isn’t like that. The life I’m living doesn’t look anything like the one I wanted. Every now and then, when I look at who I am and what I have, I’m disappointed. I feel let down, and I feel like I missed my chance.
The thing is, I also know that I’m happy. I rolled the dice on a bunch of dreams, and I’ll roll the dice on a bunch more. The hard part isn’t trying to make it, it’s reaching acceptance, and being happy with wherever I am.
I’ve always struggled with acceptance, with being able to just look at things the way they are, and be okay with it. Unfortunately, it’s an almost essential skill.
We don’t have to accept everything in the world — but we do have to be able to accept when we fail, or accept when success doesn’t look the way we thought it would.
I worry sometimes that we’ve put too much weight on success. That we’ve sacrificed everything else to make success our religion and our creed, as though that’s where we can measure a life.
That’s where we get this idea that we’ve got to hack everything, or we’ve got to do everything. That’s where we get the incredibly misguided idea that people who are successful in one area must be experts in all others. We listen Jim Carey talk about vaccination like a few hit movies make him a medical expert.
Idolizing success just makes me unhappy with my life, and it makes it harder for me to practice acceptance, and be content with the path I’m walking.
I look at people who’ve “made it” — the musicians and the entrepreneurs and the writers who are miles ahead of where I am, and I often struggle to enjoy their work. I’m too busy feeling jealous.
That’s pretty poisonous. It’s unhealthy.
I know that the life I have is a pretty fucking good one. It’s not filled with glamour and glitz, and I don’t own a Maserati, but I’m happy. Focusing on what I don’t have, or what I could have one day, is only going to challenge everything that I have of value right now and make it seem worthless.
And it’s not worthless. I’m really glad I am where I am. When I get stuck into comparisons, I can always find a way to feel shit about myself, but the closer I get to accepting what I do and don’t have, the happier I am.
For me, acceptance is the hardest part of being alive. I’m trying to balance that acceptance of my life, with the drive to change it, work harder, and make it better. One without the other will never work, but the two are often at odds.
I don’t want acceptance to mean I just give up on my dreams, that’s not what I’m looking for. But I do want it to give me a baseline, where I can exercise some pride and contentment. I want to be able to build on that.
I know what acceptance will look like, when I reach it. I’ll be able to read tech news sites and listen to music without feeling a screaming inadequacy. I hope I reach it soon, and I can’t wait to feel a little more satisfied.
“Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years when they could just say, So what. That’s one of my favorite things to say. So what.”
― Andy Warhol