“TikTok, I gotta get a TikTok, cuz now I have all this time to get famous!” (*Makes two TikToks.)
“My book, yes, I should finish my book, I’m going to be a revolutionary author!” (*Finishes badass memoir, but only submits to four publishers.)
“No, this is the time to go viral on Instagram!” (*Makes three Instagram Stories.)
“I’m gonna wake up early and meditate and write and get my chores done and be awesome!” (*Sleeps till noon.)
“What’s the point, I’m never going to be successful, no one thinks I’m funny, I’m just going to watch TV and cry.” (*Cries and cuddles with kitty.)
“What is my passion? What am I supposed to do with my life? I’m wasting so much of my time not being successful… What’s the point of having dreams? Happily ever after doesn’t apply to me. Why can’t I be successful and funny like Ellen? Or Oprah? Or Seinfeld? Or Buddha?” (*Compares self to every single famous human being and creature alive…)
This is merely a teensy taste of all the thoughts I experienced throughout quarantine.
(And FYI, each one typically occurs within five seconds of each other.)
If I’m being completely honest (which I always try to be with this blog – sometimes too much so…), I’ve always had a variation of these thoughts for as long as I can remember. I’ve always felt pressure to succeed doing something with my creativity; otherwise, I’m not worth anything.
I basically think, “People are going to see me as a failure because I have a Master’s degree and work so hard, yet I haven’t achieved massive success yet…”
Quarantine has given me a helluva lot more alone time with these toxic beliefs, and I’m definitely feeling the nasty side effects.
Mentally, this is one of the things I struggle with the most.
Basically, I set so many high standards for myself that are virtually impossible to meet that even contemplating putting any effort into them and failing immediately flushes my self-esteem down the toilet. (Along with whatever banana-shaped shit I just emancipated from my bowels. Not that you needed to know that…)
What makes this such a kurfu*kle is that everyone is always saying, “dream big” or “work hard to get where you want to go” or “never settle” or “good things happen to those who want it most” or a gazillion other follow-the-rainbow-to-the-pot-of-bling sayings…
But then they also say, “be happy with what you have” or “do the best with what you’re given” or “stop stressing about the future and be content with your present, ya ungrateful shit”…
So which is it?
I’m still grappling with this one, but I think I have to believe that the answer lies somewhere in the middle.