There is an old saying about how its not the destination that matters, but the journey along the way. No truer words have ever been spoken, in my opinion.
Ive spent a good part of my life wishing things were different. Always feeling inadequate in some way – always needing to change something – never being happy in my current situation – never appreciating the positive things I already had – unable to feel satisfied with living in the moment. In fact, I couldnt have cared less about where I was; I just knew that I needed to be somewhere else.
Even when things were going well and I was making progress towards my goals, I could never stop, smell the roses, and appreciate where I was at the time. As long as others were better looking, more talented, personable, smarter, and richer than I was, I felt inadequate. Even if I were able to fix all my deficiencies, would I then be able to sit back and really enjoy life? – Unlikely. Why? Because there would always be someone better in some way, and I would always hate the fact that I couldnt have that.
There is a lot to be said for being comfortable in ones skin – and I certainly was not. Its not that I was so far out of whack with the rest of society. I was average, and thats all there was to it. However, my low self-esteem and social anxiety problem warped things to the extent that I was certain I was way below par on all levels.
Obviously, its not realistic to expect (or strive) to be perfect in all areas. Actually, in my quest for perfection, I developed a very distasteful personality – A personality where I needed to prove myself to others – to satisfy my need to be superior. Well, not only is this a futile endeavor, it also showed my low self-esteem and lack of confidence to the world. This, in turn, further isolated me from society – the exact opposite of what I wanted. As far as others were concerned, I was a snobbish, self-serving, petty, a-hole.
So there I was, wondering why people avoided me. Couldnt they understand how debilitating social anxiety was? Why were they being so mean? Where was their compassion?
Hey, people arent mind readers. Its impossible for them to know whats going on behind the scenes. They are simply reacting to the information available. Ive often wished that I could simply let everyone know that I am an SA sufferer and to please take it easy on me. Like that sign on a beginner driver vehicle – asking everyone for a little more consideration. Yes, I may come off as a bit of an ass, but thats because Im fragile and I lack self-esteem – nothing personal, I just dont know how to handle society.
When its all said and done; I have basically wished my life away, never being satisfied with what I had – always pissed off with myself because of who I had become and who I had not. Im entering the last half of my thirties as we speak, and if there is one bit of advice I can give, its that you can waste a lifetime beating yourself up because you dont measure up to some pre-conceived standard youve set. All the while, life marches on and you miss most of what its really all about.
These days, I am training my mind to stop comparing what I have, to what others have. Ironically, this has enabled me to see the true nature of some people and that what you see is not always accurate. In fact, the only talent some people have is the ability to project a false image. What if they truly possess many talents and are somehow better than me? Well the term better is very relative. It doesnt mean squat when it comes to my enjoyment of life. More power to them – I am learning to become comfortable with who I am and what makes me happy.
Besides, Ive come to the conclusion that one person alone cannot possess every desirable human trait. No one is perfect, and many excel only in very specific areas.
My goal is to try to find peace with myself; and if I eventually discover my hidden talents – fantastic. If I dont, well its not the end of the world – the journey is the reward.