My mum keeps telling me to not being so hard on myself.
Like most people, yourself included I imagine, I don’t really know what I’m doing with my life.
I quit school at 18. I got a couple of jobs and learned digital marketing. Then I worked for myself and ran my own business in London doing marketing for startups.
At Christmas, I bumped into an old schoolmate. He was at uni. After telling him what I’d done, I think he felt a bit intimidated.
I didn’t intend to make him feel that way. I said things like “it wasn’t easy” and “I worked really hard to get there”.
But he looked as though I’d walloped him with a cricket bat saying “I’ve got it all sorted, what are you doing with your life?”
The truth is I don’t have it “all sorted”. In fact, neither do most of the people I admire. And these are the people who I think have it “all sorted”.
In reality, we all compare ourselves to other people.
If someone looks better than us, or is having a better career… we think we’re unokay. We feel a little inadequate or jealous. “What a wonderful life they’re having! Isn’t mine less good!”
It works the other way too. We feel better when people are less okay than us.
That’s why soap operas, and the Jeremy Kyle show are so popular. People watch them because the subcontext is “these people have lives that are more messed up than yours”. And it makes the viewers feel better about themselves.
Or so I guess. I read that in a book yesterday.
What do I kn0w, anyway? I try and be older and more profound than I am… but there’s still tonnes of life learning I have to do. And I’m a baby in the grand scheme of things.
I just quote things I read or hear that resonate with me. Oh, and hang out with lots of older people.
If I compare myself to most people my age – I’m very sorted. I was recently offered a full-time job that pays £50k a year… and I’m 20.
That’s a ridiculous amount of money in my humble opinion, especially for someone my age.
There we go again, making myself feel better by comparing to people who are below me, career-wise.
Oi there! Don’t go comparing yourself to me in terms of how much you’re earning. I know you’re doing that now. So stop it!
Because one thing I learned from people who are older and wiser than me is that there’s more to life than money. Happiness is far more important.
That’s the result of being grateful for what you have… whether that’s relationships, the good weather, the bad weather, coffee, a bed to sleep on and food in your tummy.
So I guess my conclusion to all this faux-worldly-wisdom is to just enjoy the ride.
Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself. Make other people feel good about themselves. Sign up to a comedy course so you can make other people laugh. Cut out the people who emotionally drain you. Exercise. Eat good food. Quit a job that makes you unhappy. And find work where you feel like you’re doing good things for people.
I’ll stop taking life too seriously.
And in the meantime, I’ll go back to wondering what on earth I should do next.