An Irish Lesbian's thoughts and observations…


I was inspired to write this post because schools and colleges are back in action this month and some people may be feeling the way that I was.

I’ve been pretty hard on myself recently. I found myself feeling like I was under pressure to change myself and my life or to achieve something more. I felt like I wasn’t good enough, beautiful enough or as much fun as other people. I even felt like people were looking down upon me because I don’t have as much money as them. I blamed other people in my mind for instilling these feelings within me but I was wrong. The only person to blame is myself and the high expectations I actually have for myself.

Every time I heard someone say “X is starting this course soon” or “Bla bla’s daughter has gotten a promotion” it felt like a personal attack. I viewed these flippant comments as digs towards me. In my head they translated into “They are doing better than you!”. I was being ridiculously harsh with just a hint of paranoid thrown in just to make myself feel a bit worse.

People are proud of me because of who I am and what I do not because I’m like other people. Nobody wants me to be like anyone else because that’s the whole point of being you – you’re obviously unique. I volunteer my time often, I do not judge people, I have two qualifications already and I’m working on getting more, I write regularly for Gaelick (check them out, it’s an Irish lesbian website), I have a successful marriage and I’m good to my family. I’m a good person and that counts for a lot more in my opinion than a degree or an expensive car. What fun is a car if no one is in it with you anyway? That glamorous house will be very empty without life to fill it.

The mistake I made was comparing myself to others and what they’re doing or what they have. That’s them and their choices, not mine. Even if I got the same job as them or the same qualifications it doesn’t mean I would be as happy as them because it’s not what I want to do. I’m sticking to setting my own goals in life. My reflection is way too hard on me but I told that wench to back off. I’m being the best me I can be and that should be good enough.

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Comments on: "Follow Your Dreams, Not Someone Else’s" (7)

  1. My parents are insisting i only finish one university major, not two—but at a junior university they don’t give you enough courses to get a complete education. I want to graduate and transfer to a university that provide a bachelor’s with a varied program, but NOT have to play catchup with credits costing two or three times as much. And they want me to retain simply a bachelors and just pursue a mast’s degree later on in life. Rhey insist on online learning, so it doesn’t interfere with working, and that I can remain an active presence in my kid’s life. (I already refrain from calling myself a parent.)

    They don’t understand that social mobility is at its slowest in years, and that one of the few industries where getting back into the middle class is HIGHLY competitive.

    In order to stand out and get the good paycheck they expect me to obtain, requires a complete education (with preferably a masters to stand out), experience and professional networking that no online education can provide me, certification that online education can’t give me, and the ability to work in a team environment. Online education, studies are revealing, provide a watered-down education, and they don’t reduce rates for an experience that pretty much reflects autodidactic study.

    Working full time and returning to school full time is incompatible with remaining a parent full time. I don’t have a partner I can share parenting with. It’s hypocritical to say I’m lazy and lacking ambition, but then to turn around and tell me that I have to work with all these restrictions and catch-22s in order to get ahead—eh, NO.

    I am seriously contemplating giving up custody for now or look around for someone to adopt him so I can pursue both my dream career and the education I need to get a job that provides a paycheck so we don’t remain on welfare forever (more because the bureaucracy with it is horrible and there is no incentive to get off of it, or if you manage to find work, they reduce benefits so much that you end finally worse off than before, than any perception people have).

    I will admit I am a selfish and ambitious person, and my kid is the result of an unplanned pregnancy. Most of the welfare we are is because I have custody of him, but he should not be my meal rocket. Those same benefits come with hindrances and bureaucracy involved that prevent me from seeking better employment and a higher education. Cis fathers give up custody and no bats an eyelash, but heaven forbid if the mother (or person who birthed the hold) did it, there’s backlash like hell. I would rather him be in a home where he is loved, provided for, and wanted, instead of struggling with me, when most of my free time will be engulfed in studying instead of paying attention to him.

    The biggest catch-22 of all.

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  2. It’s terrible to compare yourself. I used to do it and feel sour when I heard about someone doing well, instead of celebrating it, which was awful of me and led to a vicious circle where I was holding back from letting go and joining in being happy with others. It’s much better to let go and join in others’ happiness.

    I think it’s amazing you write for a website.

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    • You’re so right, when you let go of your own insecurities you can really see things in a much better light and enjoy others’ achievements as much as you’d enjoy your own. I’m glad to hear that you no longer compare yourself to others. There’s no need to. Being yourself is good enough 🙂

      Thank you for saying so. I really enjoy writing for them.

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  3. Very well said. There is always, always, always pressure to achieve more, do more. Be prettier, be funnier, be more successful. Somewhere along the way people have forgotten that there are more humans on Earth than just them, and not everyone will follow by the same guidelines and examples set by others. There is no step-by-step guide for everyone to go by. We have to live our own lives, regardless of what society thinks we should be doing.

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    • Excellently put! Everyone’s measure of success is completely different anyway and our perception of beauty is so varied that popular opinion doesn’t count for much anymore.
      There’s a competition here in Ireland called The Rose of Tralee which is basically a competition that highly educated, wealthy and overly feminine women compete in. This year a short haired, tattooed lesbian won proving that the world is changing and old fashioned ideas of what it means to be a winner are no longer as prominent as they once were. 🙂 My inner critic can take note of how much if an achievement this is for anyone that’s referred to as different.

      Liked by 1 person

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