Of insecurities, comparisons, and non-believing
I wish I were great at something (like other people are).
This statement has been ringing in my ear for a week now.
I wish I were great at something.
Looking at Instagram photos of my friends posting their creative whatnots and sheer brilliance always pinches my heart just a little. Why can’t I do the things they could? Why do I not have a creative blood? Why am I always fighting for something to work although it’s already apparent it’s not for me? Why do I keep having this place in my head for random activities that I wasn’t even passionate about before? Is this another sign of my stubborness or is it a sign that I try to improve in some ways even if it means working a bit harder?
Sure, I can carry a tune (20% of the time), I am not musically inclined but I want to learn the basic strums of a guitar because a song inspired me so much. I want to learn how to paint because it looks relaxing and very creative. But I don’t have that kind of creativity. I can’t draw to save my life. I can cook up a feast if I want to, but I don’t have that gift of taste. I even struggle to follow some recipe, what more if I try to whip up my own? Or at least I wish I have a wild spirit that allows me to explore places, ride heart-pumping amusement rides, and stomach horror films. But I don’t. I lean towards documentaries, chick flicks, and comedies more.
I wish I were more politically-inclined so I could talk to my friends and other people about political matters, instead of being the naive girl that I am. I wish I were better at doing makeup so I could do other women’s faces and make a part-time job out of it. I wish I take better photos so I could produce better images for my blog content, and walking the streets of Manila almost every weekend would make more sense, or having more skills in photography even if it’s just to take a photo of my breakfast and make it look 10x more delicious than it really is. I wish I were more book-smart so there would be a lot of career opportunities for me and I would excel in whichever field I choose. I wish I were smarter, period. I wish I were a better blogger so I could finally get legit blogging assignments, taste different cuisines, travel to other countries or even locally, and get paid for doing something I never get tired of. Blogging really has a special place in my heart. It’s my solace in a crazy world. But I’m not good enough. And there are hundreds of other girls wanting the same spot. Sometimes I think I dream too big and forget that most things are attained harder than it seems.
There are so many things I want to be but which I am not. It seems like I am not yet happy with the skills I have or I do not know how to utilize them because I don’t use them enough or I find reasons to dismiss them as mundane and non-special. Baking looks so satisfying. Is cooking a simple dish not? She looks stunning in that makeup look. Sure, but you also look nice when you do your own makeup. You know your face really well by now. That top looks gorgeous. It does, on her. But remember, you have different body types. There’s a different set of clothes that fit you equally well, not the one she’s wearing, nope. She’s so articulate. I love how she structures her sentences really well. And you do, too. That’s what made you into a freelance writer, isn’t it?
All this time that I’m loathing myself for being so basic, it never occured to me that there could be other people wishing they could do what I do. I bet, no matter how useless I feel sometimes, there are people wishing they had my life instead. A friend messaged me and asked about my work. She confessed how it was dragging to wake up early every single day to travel and work, and back. I wish I could say the same although we have different schedules. I don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to beat other commuters, but I sleep pretty late. So if we’re only talking about the hours of sleep we get, I can guarantee, hindi tayo nagkakalayo. So anyway, I told her that I understood what she was saying, but if she loves her job, she would always find a reason to come back to it, and even the Manila traffic wouldn’t be strong enough to faze her passion.
I paused for a moment and stared at the message I just sent. It’s the exact same thing I should be telling myself. No wonder this week had been testing for me – I am stubborn enough not to acknowledge my own skills and I just tend to look past what I could do to envy other people for doing things that are natural for them. So many people have already told me how they look up to me for writing well, for being articulate and getting my messsage across flawlessly. But somehow, I still find myself struggling to believe that I am that person.
Now I actually wonder why it’s so hard for us to see a gift that’s already in front of us. Why do we keep comparing what we have versus to what we don’t have? Why do we keep looking for something that’s not there? This wasn’t in my drafts. I wasn’t supposed to write this. But I had to because writing is my best tool when I am frustrated or sad about something. And I am right now. But it’s also my worst enemy when I need to produce words, but can’t.
I’m writing this in hope that my insecurities leave my system soon because I don’t need it. Why does it even matter so much if I can’t do this or that? I have my own “thing”. I may not be great at something but I am good at a number of things. When has comparison ever been a metrics for growth, success, happiness even? While here I am wishing I were somebody else, another person is wishing she was me.