For this week’s open blog, I thought I’d cover the idea of self-image.
See, I got to thinking earlier today about why I’m always being a try hard; why I put so much effort into being the best I can. I want people to know that I’m trying my best to be better, to be my best. (Side note: It’s a stupid goal to have, trying to be the best, so I don’t aim for that as much anymore… But I do try aiming to be the best I can be.) Why does it matter, though? Why does being my best matter, when I know all I want is to learn how to be a better writer so I could make a career out of it? And why do I put forward such an effort to be my best, when I should just appreciate what I’m learning? Is my asking this question pointing to a flaw or an inner paradox to myself that is just there for some unreasonable reason?
There are benefits to trying to be your best. Of course, trying to be your best gives you a reason to keep going when things get tough, and for that, I see a benefit to my focus on trying my best. And when it comes to showing others that I’m trying to better myself, it shows that I actually care to some degree or another (at least that’s how I’ve viewed it in the past), which makes learning and teaching easier for both sides… However, when I ask why does it really matter that I appear to be the best I can be, I come to a slight blank.
“Am I pursuing my best merely because I am afraid of failure?”
I’ve thought this a couple times the past couple hours as I’ve waited for my laundry to finish. Or perhaps what it is is that I’m trying to prove something… Being the last of three older brothers who have been loved by most sets a pretty high expectation. My oldest brother was the first to do many things in my family, first to get a job, go to college, get a job, get married and so on. Everyone who has met my older brother (for the most part at least) has thought he’s a great guy. Throughout high school, I remember teachers holding me to high expectations because of the great projects that my oldest brother had done in class, how he led by example, did well in his homework, and all that jazz. Of course, I couldn’t hate him for being great and being loved by many, he’s been too cool for that,
Then there is my other older brother, who for several years was deemed the “perfect child” by grandma and I. It was a joke of course, but one of those jokes that are technically true. Again, just like my oldest brother, this brother too was smart and a hard worker, loved by everyone. He is the pinnacle of creative spirit really, mixed with technical and logical reason; he doesn’t need to go to college because he’s already smart enough to make a living. He taught himself how to forge weapons, craft leather, sew, draw realistically with color pencils and so on. He was a boy scout, and almost reached Eagle scout, the top rank in scouts, but decided not too because he felt it was a waste of his time, which is kind of true, because he teaching himself other things, like how to build a cabin with trees he cut down himself. I was in high school one grade below him, and almost constantly was compared to him when it came to education. Like I said at the beginning, he was called perfect child for a while.
Anyway, point being, with two older brothers such as mine leading the trail to success, something I know that I have struggled with is trying to prove that I can match them. But is that why I am always trying to be my best? To prove my brothers that they aren’t as great as everyone else thinks and that I can be just as a good? Maybe that’s part of it… but I don’t feel that’s all of why I strive for my best image. Plus I really don’t care if people think they’re great because to me they’ll just be my brothers… But if this is perhaps part of why I strive to be better, then what is rest of why?
Perhaps I’m trying to prove something to my parents?
I don’t mean to brag, but my parents are great. They’ve always cared for my brothers and me, and have always been there when needed. Between myself and my parents, the biggest issue that every caused a slight rift between us was that I refused to read in my youth (I was a really stubborn child). They’ve always been supportive and caring. With all that they’ve given me, indeed, I do feel that I must do my best to give to them my best in return to show that all their efforts were for something, but I don’t feel that my efforts of being my best image are centered on paying my parents back for what they have done for me. And additionally, I have nothing to prove to them, they just want me to be happy. Again, I feel that it is merely part of why I strive to be my best…
So why then do I strive to put my best image forward?
I think it goes back to the question I wrote out in quotes above… Being afraid of failure. Like trying to achieve the goal of being “the best,” being afraid of failure is completely ridiculous. Of course, there are going to be times where failure is inevitable, and it’s more likely to occur than being the best. I’ve read time and time again that the best of people go through struggles before they succeed, including great men who have led nations, to authors or even fictional character. One cannot grow without facing life and all that it presents.
But knowing something doesn’t automatically change the feeling.
See, I don’t have anything to prove to anyone… I believe the reason why I try my best is because I’m afraid of failing. In all actuality, I probably could have just said that and not have gone over all that I have so far because I’ve kind of known this for a while, I just never acknowledge it. At times when I just want to give up at college and working and the constant effort of trying to do good in life, and I find myself on the floor of my room wishing I could just say screw it and just leave and go home, I tell myself that I do it for them, for my family.
And of course, I do it for myself as well… I want to be a writer that writes stories for both adults and children some day, that’s my goal at least, and I know that getting a degree and then getting a job would at least support me while I try doing what I’d love to do with my life. I know that things aren’t going to be easy and that I probably will fail between now and the future. However, that doesn’t change that I’m afraid of that moment when I fail something.
I do my best for them, because all they want is for me to be happy, and if I fail at that… If I fail at achieving happiness… It kind of looks bad on a resume. But joke aside, it is something I do struggle with.
I laugh at myself a whole bunch, because the one thing that both my parents told me before I started college was to not worry about the grades as much, and that they wanted me to put effort into making friends. Of course, me being me, I’ve done just about the opposite, where instead of making friends, my focus is on my grades.
Where that leaves the rest of this blog, I’m not quite sure. At this point I feel like all that I’m writing is rambling thoughts. And because I don’t want this to start following the same pattern of my rambling mind; let’s keep this somewhat cohesive, as well as have it end on a happier note! I’m gonna share something I was able to draw this last week (because I procrastinated a whole bunch and stayed up till 3AM a couple nights… God I regret that so much!!!). So this is just something I made with my two characters Tanscia and Aufnaher (who I’ve mentioned in a past blog are siblings) and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to goof around and have fun drawing this piece!
And on a side note to my attempt at making this blog end on a happy note and to add to this happier ending, one of my friends actually made a drawing of these two, and I’ll share that as well!
So yeah, I’m just gonna end this blog here… Laundry is done and needs folding anyway. See you in the next blog!