I like to think of myself as a writer. I like to think that I have a great imagintion and my own special way of looking at the world that other people just might be interested in reading one day. However, anytime I actually take a second to look at my own abilities and what I’ve accomplished, I feel inadequate.
I know, it’s in everyone’s nature to feel inadequate, like someone else is better at something and that’s there’s always something you can improve. It’s true, too. Nobody’s perfect and there’s always something about yourself that you could improve. Still, when you start feeling that way about one of the things you take immense pride in it can really bog you down.
I really try not to judge myself by what other people have accomplished and focus on what I can accomplish instead, but everyone’s got that one person. Everyone’s got that one guy that gets under your skin because he is just so sure that he’s better than you and likes to flaunt it for attention. Sometimes he actually gets to you and you start to believe for a second that he might actually be better, and that just makes you dislike him even more. How can he be so sure that he’s better? What gives him that inexplicable, overbearing confidence in his own ability? I have absolutely no clue, but I wish I did.
If I had that much confidence, I’d probably be done with my first novel, too, just like he is. I know everyone’s first stuff is hardly ever golden, but seriously. He’s finished with his first novel out of his planned saga and halfway through with the second by the end of his senior year? As someone who’s dream is to be published, what do I have to show? Nothing. I’ve been working at this just as long as he has and he’s already so much farther down the road than me.
And it’s in this comparison that I start to make my mistakes. Maybe he is better than me. I mean, if he’s that much farther than me he has to be doing something right. People can take him seriously as a writer, at least. If someone asks him about his work he can boast about his novel and people respect him, regardless of what they know of his actual writing ability, just because he has something to show for his work. When I tell someone I want to be an author and they ask what I write about or what I’ve done I have to awkwardly explain that I haven’t actually written anything. I get the same reaction every time, too. I get that same disapointed “oh” and an awkward silence, although sometimes I get a half-hearted “Good luck with that”, which only makes the whole situation worse.
Honestly, I really hate that I have this huge obsession with comparing myself to him, in things other than writing ability, too. He’s like my self-established, secret rival. I don’t know, it’s weird. I wish I could just feel secure in my own skills and not worry about his. I mean, I can and I do most of the time, but no matter what there’s always this little piece of me in the far part of my brain whispering, You’re not good enough. Why aren’t you more like him? Why do you have to be you?
But I am me. My skills are different than his, my thoughts, too. My whole life, really. Why do I need to compare myself to him? I need to just be happy with who I am and the confidence and achievements will come in their own time. I’m not usually that good at explaining myself or what I mean, and that’s totally on me. So, if you’re having trouble understanding the point of my anecdote I’ll try to spell it out a little clearer.
Guys, try to be happy with who you are. I know it’s hard, but you’re different than everyone else around you, so there’s no possible way that you can measure yourself against other people and be fair to yourself at the same time. Or accurate, really. Your achievements and your growth will come when they need to. You don’t need to rush it or feel bad about yourself just because of something you see in someone else. You’ll get there eventually.