A chunk of time has passed since “I Thought This Only Happens To Old People…” And yes, I’ve changed my narrative, and sure, I’ve since found a job. Though even with the passage of time, the events prior- still and will always exist as ghosts- triggered then by the shortcomings I have and feel as a junior designer.
So of course, plaguing my mind is the question:
“Why is it that I never feel good enough?- or rather, why is it that WE never feel good enough?”
As of late this question has been popping up instead, as a statement, “I just feel inadequate…” (cough cough #firstworldproblem cough cough- yes I’m aware.)
It reminds me of this cycle that I know I’m guilty of falling into, that we’re all guilty of: (scroll to the bold for TL;DR version)
When I was in Santa Cruz, I wanted to be at Art Center. When Art Center fell thru, I just wanted to be elsewhere. When my elsewhere was San Diego, I missed Santa Cruz and I wanted to be there. In general, when I was in school, I wanted to be done. When the moment of graduation was looming, I just wanted to be out in the “real world,” working. When I was working in New York, I wanted my summer- to play with friends and to be back home. When I had to go home, I missed New York. When I could play…it wasn’t fun, because now my friends were all working. So then I wanted to work, and now I’m where I asked to be… but am I present…or am I anticipating the next step?
TL;DR version: when we physically reach our goal and obtain what we wanted- mentally we’re already fixated on something else, and no longer are we present.
It’s super cyclical, but where we are now, point A, is always just going to be a collection of the past. To get to point B- one has to bridge the gap, and so the cycle begins. And the issue isn’t that we fall into the cycle, the cycle is inevitable. The issue lies in what Tony Robbins mentions as the divide of where we currently are, to the notion of a blueprint (the story we’ve set for ourself in our head.)
When this blueprint doesn’t match our life, this discrepancy causes major frustration.
My current blueprint says that I’m suppose to know all the ins and outs of the programs I use, that I’m suppose to be fast, and churn out super dope work. My current state however, is full of shortcomings, stumbling, being slow, and churning out…stuff…ok stuff, and that’s the disconnect, the stress. I want to be my blueprint. I don’t want to admit my weak spots, but lets not suffer from the “Dunning-Kruger effect” AKA being so dumb that I don’t realize just how dumb I am, and instead believe myself to be more than 100, because I’m not more than 100- far from it.
Because it’s on nights where I work overtime, with the silence of the office, I know I’m far from it... I flashback to high school, to my days in cross country. To when I was trying to keep up, but I kept falling behind. To when I would notice the distance between myself and others grow with every breath and every step I took. To when they became specks in my eyes, vanishing from my sight- they were done, and I was far from finishing. I, was far from it.
Frankly there are so many peers who are better equipped then me- I know I’m not good enough, there’s a long way to go, but worst, I feel like I’m not enough. The thought of being laid off still looms, because it’s always a possibility.
And in the realm of relationships, the question of whether or not I’m worthy of even being seen is still present, because it’s in the uncertainty that I find my self-worth to be questionable.
And so there’s all this push and pull, because I know some are true, and others- exaggerations of truth. And it’s good to know, because it keeps me away from fully immersing myself into a pool of purely reacting to emotions and feelings.
Though I also know “There is a gap,” and Ira Glass puts it beautifully when he says this. In its context he’s referring to being a beginner creative and good work, though in a more general concept, I like to parallel it to being a better version of the self. “There is a gap.” and let’s try to bridge it, because here I am trying to bridge it.
If not bridge it, according to Taylor Gahm’s Tedx talk, we should all burn the false self. By getting and being real, diving inwards instead of out. Uttering the same sentiments as Brene Brown, who speaks of the power of stories, and vulnerability.
So I know I can’t be the only one who feels inadequate, but at the core of this issue, the question isn’t why don’t I feel as if I’m enough, the question is why don’t I see things truly as they are-with no embellishments, no biases, no assumptions….just as it is.
And in doing so, why not bridge the gap- strive to become better versions of ourselves, while lighting up the false sense of self on fire? #lit