Last Sunday morning, raindrops glided across my windshield as I drove home from Sasha’s house. Once I was home, I threw on a fresh set of pajamas and waited for Claire to come pick me up. We ordered breakfast and took it to the beach. We watched the rain pour over the Pacific from inside her car. Gus Dapperton sang from her iPhone. Since that morning, I haven’t stopped thinking about the things I said, the things I didn’t say, and everything I was feeling.
For a long time, but during this past year especially, I’ve used other people changing and growing as an excuse to stay the same.
I don’t want to detract from the fact that this year was full of personal accomplishments. I’m proud of myself for creating artwork, completing manuscripts, traveling abroad, being a full time student, and finishing my junior year maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
At the same time, I can’t help but to feel disappointed in myself. Everyone is busy bettering themselves, and I feel that I am falling behind in comparison. Once I have my own home and settle into my own work, the distance between me and my friends will diminish. I have one year of undergrad schooling left which is insignificant in the scheme of things.
So why does it feel hugely important?
I’m a strong believer in the universe and I have trust in my process. I am where I’m supposed to be. Am I who I’m supposed to be?
I’m an artist; I’m making art, I’m writing, I’m trying.
This is all that matters.
The issue is comparison. We all struggle with this. Things look better from the outside. I know this and I’ve lived it. My photos from freshman year tell a different story than my journal entries. Comparison is a threat to my contentedness. If this stage of my life is for me to grow, I should be focused on me.
Nevertheless, this summer feels different. While I’ve only taken my education seriously for the past year, my friends are truly coming into themselves and adulthood. My peers are spending their summers away from home. They’re officially moving out. I’m nowhere near them. I take steps forward each day, but I wake up in the same place each morning.
I’m not where I expected I’d be by now. It’s alright, but maybe I have a right to be disappointed? As an outsider looking in on other people’s lives through a screen, it’s easy to feel like everyone else has more direction than me. More satisfaction, happiness, goals, and successes. Fewer problems, apprehensions, fears, and failures.
I am a work in progress.
This, right here, is part of the process. I have so many people and adventures I’m thankful for. Even as this week continued, there ended up being happy moments and fun days. New opportunities will continue to arise.
It’s okay to feel like you’re waiting for the next step, it’s okay to feel apprehensive, and it’s okay to feel far from achieving your goals.
Every day I am trying to do what I can to feel confident in my own path. Because it is mine and no one else’s. If “here” is where you are, be here.
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