In case you’ve never read the Desiderata —
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plants. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass. Take kindly the council of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.
I am overly inclined to compare myself to others. I need to stop. Just because I might do things differently than other people does not mean that my ways are inferior – and even saying that sentence aloud makes me want to laugh at how absurd it sounds. I am less talented than some people in some ways, and more talented than some people in other ways. Always there will be greater and lesser persons than myself, so why bother comparing myself with them at all? Why do I struggle to embrace myself the way that I am? True, it’s good to be motivated to be a better person, but it’s not good for that motivation to be a negative voice in my brain telling me that I’m not good enough the way I am.
Sometimes I feel like I need to go to a cabin in the woods and live by myself for about 6 months. Seems like that would be a good amount of time to allow me to…sort of remember who I am, and focus on my passions and loves, and remind me of why I am alive. Every so often, I’m amazed at how easy it is to get stuck in the 8-5 office rut; I get up, I go to work, I come home, I have dinner, maybe watch TV, maybe work on a craft project, maybe read, then go to bed. I was telling Brittany last night that I have very much shied away from trying to make my passions into my livelihood, because in my mind forcing a passion to be a career is a good way to kill it. And so I go to my day job and try to remember my passions after work (and sometimes during, if I’m not too busy). I don’t like this very much. I am trying to be thankful.