Man, I just feel like the wicked b*tch of the Midwest today. Every little thing is ticking me off. Maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. I don’t know. I finished my story yesterday and although I said that I would not revise it until the group critique is done, I did this morning before posting the file for my writeshop members. I’m not saying that revising my story put me in a bad mood. The changes were necessary, and mainly structural and grammatical items that I knew needed to be changed as I was writing but was too lazy to do at the time. I think my moodiness is deriving from the weather.
There are things I like about Columbus, and winter is not one of them. It has nothing to do with the severity of winter, and more to do with my missing the sunshine. Sunlight and warmth make me happy. When I am happy I am more productive, more active, and more satisfied with my life. Recently I have had people tell me that I am too hard on myself. Perhaps that is true. I expect to get a lot done. When I don’t see the outcomes that I anticipated I get frustrated. I blame myself for things that are not necessarily my fault. But I do not think that I am alone in this act. In fact most of my friends are victims of the same mental degradation. Overachievers flock together. They compete against one another almost as much as they compete against themselves.
One thing that I discovered in college was that my expectations were defined by those around me. My friends, my acquaintances, they all had a hand in how hard I pushed myself and how I envisioned my future. When I was forced to take a step back and look at the broader picture it was much easier for me to understand and appreciate my successes. When you are running in a track meet and your chief rival beats you by a tenth of a second at the moment all you can think of is that you lost. Rarely do people take a step back and think I just ran a four-minute mile. That is faster than 99% of the human population. I get caught up in the fact that I am living at home with my parents, it is not easy nor is it where I envisioned myself at this point in my life. But I am lucky that I still have parents to live with. Because there are a lot of people who don’t. I have a little sister who can annoy me like I never believed possible. But when I see her trying desperately to be like me, seeking so hard for my approval, I realize how valuable our sisterly bond is. I have graduated from high school and college, which is more than I can say for 40% of the people in my state, not to mention the country or other areas of the world. Sometimes, because things are expected of us, we forget to reflect on how lucky and fortunate we are.
I am reminded of how lucky I am in the most random of ways. Like right now. Sitting at this computer ready to curse the world, only to discover in my ranting and raving, that what I really want to do is thank God for one more day of opportunities to make a difference.