Wednesday, April 3, 2013

293/365: Greater Than, Less Than

Today I made:
myself feel bad...

I had other plans for my daily creative today, but it doesn't seem as important right now. In an effort to get these thoughts out of my head before bedtime (ah journal therapy) and in the spirit of speaking my truth (even the ugly truth), I share with you fresh from this prickly place on the path where I've found myself.

The marine layer that settled over our sunny beach town today had no intention of burning off, and neither did my headache. I'm on day three with no coffee. (What was I thinking?!) Thankfully I was blessed with a quiet day at home and so I wouldn't jostle myself, I spent most of the day snuggling my lap top.

It's rare that I let myself get so distracted on the Internet. I don't usually have the time for this guilty pleasure, but today after a bit of productive research, I fell down the rabbit hole. Lost in link land with no real motive, I found myself hopping around to blogs beyond my familiar favorites.

Blog hops can be very much fun. Finding inspiration, learning, connecting with others- this is normally what happens when I allow myself to go wandering. But every once in a while, things take a dark turn, and I start to compare myself to others. Professional looking photographs, clean designs, their way with words, their keen understanding of this platform of self-expression- all of a sudden what I'm putting out there seems so juvenile.

I've heard it called "blog envy." I don't actually resent anyone for putting their awesome out into the world. I'm thrilled that people are discovering and sharing their gifts and I know deep down there's room for me to share mine in my own way, but I can't help feeling inadequate sometimes. I turn inward and begin to find my faults and shortcomings. I completely lose sight of my accomplishments and proud moments in the light of what other artists are doing. I feel like I will never measure up.

As my husband would say, "Congratulations, you're human."
I am not immune to these feelings, even though I talk a big game when it comes to courage. This is where the yuck gets even thicker people! It's hard to encourage in earnest when you feel discouraged, which makes me feel like a fraud- and on and on the horrible feelings spiral.

So late into the evening and so deep into my negative thoughts,  I have a hard time conceiving that the sun will come up on this self-doubt of mine. I know I know, it's part of the process. But this part is no fun. Here I sit, lacking confidence, completely distracted from my goals. And I brought it all on myself. Awesome.

I will allow myself to acknowledge that at least I'm treating this like the journal that it really is.

In my someday blogging life, I'm going to have the brilliant response to this post. The "I should know better than to let this silliness get me down" self will provide a complete list of tried and true get you out of comparison mode tactics. But can I just sit with these feelings for a bit so I can find my own way out? OK, thanks.

For now friends, I leave you with the brilliant quotes of a man who's obviously done some thinking on the topic. I will be repeating these lines to myself as I drift off to sleep.

"Other people's success is not an indication of your failure."

"Never compare your beginning to somebody else's middle."   ~ John Acuff

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