Overachievers have a bit of a curse. It’s difficult for us to be happy. I think we’re not impressed with our own track record. Because like, how could we be anything else? Yes, I had the perfect GPA. Yes, I managed three jobs during my senior year of college. Yes, I did this, that, oh and that too. But, there was no other option. To perform at any level but my best would be like trying to hold my breath.
For perfectionists, at least myself, there’s this constant – not even a voice, but an electric undercurrent in my skin, that’s buzzing along, endlessly worrying. Am I doing enough? Am I reaching my potential? Why haven’t I reached this milestone yet? Good gracious, what is wrong with me?
A lot of my problems have stemmed from needing to be perfect. Perfect daughter. Perfect body. Perfect student. Perfect manic pixie dream girl, to myself.
And I worry that in having a bucket list blog, it seems like a race to check off all the things on the list. But, a lot of times, the accomplishments I list here, just happen totally coincidentally.
And it’s good to push yourself – it is. But it’s okay to stop on your journey and take a moment to breathe too. Or… to enjoy the journey. Be happy where you are, find happiness in the struggle. Why is it a struggle, anyway? Maybe we should call it a ‘strive’. That sounds so much better, like a plant leaning toward the sun for warmth, its roots stretching out in the rich soil for nourishment.
I feel like I need to give myself permission to be happy where I am.
Maybe it’s a millennial thing, or a being-in-your-20s thing. Maybe it’s from being the product of an ambitiously rigorous environment. Maybe it’s my own neurosis. Type-A personality. Whatever. There doesn’t need to be a reason.
But here it is. You, me, everyone, has permission to be happy where you are. Keep growing. Keep leaning toward that sunshine and letting your petals unfurl. Keep adding things to your bucket list. Do your best, everyday. But appreciate where you are too, because you’re not just some random clod of dirt. Your life is just as beautiful a garden as anyone’s, and you’ve made it so.
You’re a rose. Or a lily. An orchid, a bluebell, a forget-me-not. Hey, be a cactus if that’s what you want. It’s all fantastic.
Even if there are things we feel we must change. I ought to stop my crazy chewing-gum addiction. Budget and learn to be financially savvy. Do more things to help my fellow earthlings. Be kind.
But I’m also enough where I am right now. Because it’s impossible to be any ‘Me’-er than I already am, at the risk of sounding like a Dr. Seuss book. We only flower for such a short instance on this planet. It’s far too silly, I think, to spend it miserable.
So even as I continue to grow, I’m going to find joy. I’m going to strive, instead of struggle.
And then, I’ll thrive.