“That voice, the one that tells you you’re worthless and stupid and ugly, it goes away right? It’s just like a dumb teenage girl thing, but then it goes away?”
— Bojack Horseman, Season 4, in an exchange between the main character and his daughter.
When you came into this world, kicking and screaming, like every other person who came into the world, your caretaker didn’t know what they were doing. They were still trying to make sense of the world and the uncertainty that came with it.
When you were a little older you learned to formulate words…
When a person’s self-esteem is so low that they never feel smart, talented, or pretty enough, they’re left with two options. They can either trudge through their life wallowing in doubt. Or, they can find something, anything, to grasp onto.
I held onto my work ethic. I’m not naturally intelligent? I’ll study twice as hard. I’m not talented? I will work harder than anyone else.
If I wasn’t good enough, I could make up for it with hard work. In my mind, I thought I’d never be good enough. …
I know that to you, internet stranger, I probably seem like a perfectly composed, robot-like, human. Maybe I even wake up at 5:00:00 am every morning to go through an alphabetically-categorized to-do list. Who knows? You certainly don’t. I could be perfect, head-to-toe.
But I’m not. I know, crazy, right? Imagine my surprise to figure that one out. I’m not perfect! Not only that, but I never will be perfect.
I make clumsy mistakes. I trip over my huge feet. I make little mistakes like saying the wrong thing or forgetting someone’s name. …
Hey you- I saw a half-opened jar of Nutella sitting on the counter today, a butter knife disorderly touching the counter and messing the surface. It reminded me of you- of my favorite day with you. Do you remember that day? It was forever ago. What a mess you made of the apartment, what a fantastic day. Sure, you might’ve made a mess of my hair, clothes, and groceries. I never got the stains out of the walls, either. It’s okay, you know you’re forgiven.
I mean, there I was, sitting on the bed of my cramped room, trying to…
My little brother spends nights pacing around my parents’ kitchen. He tries to hide his frustration, but he doesn’t stop pacing in circles. Something is eating him up inside.
“I wasn’t productive today, I need to stop being so lazy, I have no willpower.” Logically, I should suggest he stops pacing and go check off an item on his to-do list. Staying frustrated at himself is just sinking him deeper into his hole.
But my heart-breaking, empathetic side knows what he is feeling. I know what it’s like to want to be productive but feeling too paralyzed to…
I mean… what the hell is ‘success’ supposed to mean, anyway? The feeling of getting an A on your test; or winning the first-place medal; or maybe walking into a room and knowing you’re better than everyone else?
But none of those things have ever made anyone genuinely happy (the same way that alcohol hasn’t ever made anyone happy, or expensive clothes, or getting tons of likes on your post). It’s crazy to think that I thought it could.
But surely, I thought if I worked hard, and if everyone liked me, then I’d be happy. What a funny thing…
Having a mind is amazing. We experience beauty, highs, and the intensities of love.
Unfortunately, it can also suck. So much. We’re all stuck inside these sticky, sweating, bloody, human bodies. We live at the whims of its chemical reactions. Emotions go up and down. The only real certainty is that no emotion stays the same. That’s okay.
It’s easy to fall into the trap that some emotions are ‘good’ and that some are ‘bad’. Feelings like joy and excitement have a positive connotation, while jealousy or sadness are perceived negatively. …
Some people trudge through life doing the bare minimum. They have just enough money to live, their relationships are okay, and their dreams are distant. They go through the motions.
Then there are others — people who’ve figured out how to have successful careers, fulfilling relationships, and meaningful goals. They’re serial entrepreneurs, Olympic gold-medalists, or maybe humble parents who feel truly content in their lives.
How do some people achieve success again and again, when others can’t manage to do it even once? Even when both people are born into similar life circumstances?
This is the kind of question that…
I used to be so angry. It wasn’t fair! My friends, with normal functioning brains, lived easily. Taking a shower wasn’t a battle. Eating regularly was their normal.
They don’t need to get into a boxing ring with their mind every day.
Sure, my friends had their problems. But their problems were real. How could I not be jealous? When they were sad, they had a reason. If they missed a deadline or made a huge mistake, they had a better excuse than ‘the thought of getting out of bed makes me want to crawl back inside my mother’.
Making content should be like making love. Everyone involved is enjoying it.
While writing on medium, sometimes I make the mistake of trying to choose between writing what I like, or what my audience would like. Posting a personal story would feel cathartic, but a listicle with bite-sized ‘actionable steps’ gets more claps. Do I write what I like, or do I write for the masses?
But that would be asking the wrong question. Because there’s a middle-ground solution. It involves trusting your gut and doing what you want to do.
Creatives are making a mistake when they ask themselves…
Hey, we’re both tiny specks in a universe full of stars that happened to exist at the same time. Cool!