Never good enough is our achievements, are they? Always someone else has done more than us. Made more money, written more. Better computers. Knows more about this or that. Has more disposable income? Can afford to buy more Magic cards than you?
Systemic reasons. Personal reasons. Time and effort going towards only so much stuff. Maybe some of it was excuses? Certainly, too much time on Facebook.
Hey, I get hating that you haven’t done what you wanted so far. I get the existential moment of dripping time—of shuffling off a mortal coil. Being so very disappointed in yourself for not being that version of yourself that you see in those passing daydreams. The famous, somehow multi-tasking on another plane of time, shining version of yourself.
I wish I could say that it goes away. That imposter syndrome is not a real, noticeable thing. That modern capitalism won’t continue to make you feel like you’re never rich enough. That money somehow defines your self-worth and sense of success.
I can tell you one thing though.
You’ve likely improved.
The tragedy of youth is that we often learn things much later than they would have been useful. Looking back, we see mistakes. Looking back, aren’t we so very embarrassed?
A fucking good sign that.
That means you recognize points of error. That you get that you made mistakes. That you learned. Oh, cliché and sounds like I’m talking to a child, right? Was it any less true then? If anything, it’s truer now.
You never stopped skinning your knees. You just stopped doing it on a playground. It may not have “built character” but, hey, you’re alive enough. And, really, when did you last skin your knee?
I am not naïve enough to claim anyone can do anything. But I’m not cynical enough to say it’s hopeless.
Improvement, especially big life stuff, doesn’t happen all at once. You cannot “become an adult” in a week. I don’t care if you bought a house, made your own doctor’s appointment, and signed up for life insurance all in the same day—it’s not going to undo that uncertainty.
It’s a slow thing.
It’s growing. Like you did when you were 5. Just because you’re not a kid anymore, doesn’t mean there’s not more to learn.
I can’t promise there’s satisfaction at the end—I haven’t been there to see it. But, at least, at freaking least, in the middle parts, there are moments where you simply are luckier than you expected. And you’ll be happier again and again than you thought you could be. You’ll find there are new thresholds to joy.
Yeah, others got more stuff. More of this or that.
But if we are better than ourselves, a year back, we are going forward. We have matured. Taken those scrapes and hardened up a little against the world.
Do something small towards a goal, each day, each week, Brandon, and chill out—it’ll all be okay.
Special thanks to: Bob Gerkin, Collin Pearman, Dylan Alexander, Jerry Banfield, and Michael The Comic Nerd.
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