‘Why am I not a much better person?’
This has to be the most frequently asked question that my psyche asks. Why am I not better? Why am I not much better? Why am I not a million times better than I currently am? And I’m not just asking why I’m not better at one thing, I want to know why I’m not better at everything.
My head is overcrowded with variations of this question – a constant swarm of voices telling me to just. Be. Better.
There are so many things that I need to not suck at doing, that I’m completely overwhelmed as to what I should stop sucking at first. As ever, please consult the scientific diagram below which fully illustrates my neuroses:
I know that it’s bad to compare yourself with other people and not to quote Desiderata too much, (there will always be greater and lesser people than yourself) but I do. I still compare myself with other people because people are getting married, and promoted and having babies all over the place. And while I’m not jealous because I don’t really aspire to any of those things, I still feel as though I’m seriously lagging behind.
In my head, my life should be an all-round wholesome sphere of joy and harmony, and I should feel engaged with life rather than detached from it.
In the infinitely-better-version-of-me:
- I get up at 6am everyday, do yoga while eating organic yogurt and homemade granola and reading The Guardian from cover to cover and tweeting my every thought on Twitter to improve traffic to my blog.
- I write 2000 words of a potentially best-selling literary masterpiece, before briskly walking to work feeling somewhat alert and spiritually Zen and wearing clothes that are sharp and stylish and make me look super-hot.
- I have some cool job or other, which involves having a desk by the window, a cappuccino machine, pleasant telephone conversations and people asking me for my opinion.
- At lunch I meet my agent or editor or whoever to discuss my latest creative project, and afterwards I go to David Mitchell‘s house for a cup of tea and chat about all the stuff I’d read in The Guardian that day, as well as his recent article in The Observer and I’m all ‘David, today’s article was brilliant,’ and he’s all ‘Thanks Jo, would you like sugar in your tea?’ and I’m all ‘David, you’re so funny – you KNOW I don’t take sugar because I’m so damn wholesome and well-rounded,’ Then we laugh and eat organic wholemeal scones.
- I go to the gym and work out like a ninja before sprinting home to cook some kind of delicious culinary taste-fest for my friends (of which there are many), who later descend on my trendy city centre loft apartment for an evening of philosophical discussions, cocktails and Nintendo (not necessarily in that order) until the early hours of the morning when I snuggle up in my King size bed and have a restful sleep that doesn’t involve having troublesome nightmares about zombie-cat-vampires.
And that’s pretty much it. That’s all I want out of life. Oh, and maybe bigger boobs. And a smaller nose. But in my head this is the person I should try to be… A British, politically minded, Carrie Bradshaw who is big chums with David Mitchell. And is really good at Nintendo.
Actually, thinking about it, SJP has a big nose and small boobs and everyone freaking loved her as Carrie Bradshaw (except some people kind of hated her with a passion). So I guess, that technically, I don’t need to worry about the boobs and the nose for now.
Anyway, given the unlikeliness of any of this ever filtering into my petty existence, not to mention how worryingly idealistic I am, it’s little wonder that I give myself such a hard time for being the exact opposite:
In and amongst the endless list of things to do to change and become an infinitely better person, there’s this list of startling reality points which I endlessly torture myself with.
Earlier this week, I read this blog post by the fantastic Hipstercrite, and I actually began to feel a little, sort of, maybe okay again. Because even though I shouldn’t constantly compare myself with other people, at least I can be safe in the knowledge that I’m not alone. There are other people stuck in the colossal nightmare that is their twenties, still bumbling around in a post-graduation haze wondering what it is they’re supposed to do with their life. And they’re all poor and in miserable admin jobs too. The twenties is a suckfest decade. And all I can say is that I hope I get this self-doubt confusion stuff out of my system now. If only to prevent myself from having a complete meltdown in the future – when I’m a forty-year old British, politically-minded ninja Carrie Bradshaw and regular tea and scone guest at David Mitchell’s house.