Do you ever feel so small and insignificant that you are almost invisible? We are all just tiny little specks floating around in this universe trying to ‘make something of our lives’, but what does that mean? By popular opinion ‘making something of ourselves’ means having a good career, earning loads of money, taking lovely holidays to beautiful places, having the latest gadgets and wearing fashionable clothes, but what if those things aren’t attainable to you? If you find yourself in a position where you look around you and feel as though you have failed? What then?
Last week was rough. I felt extremely low and in a moment of self-pity sent a message to my mum telling her I felt like a failure. ‘I’m nearly 40,’ I wrote, ‘and I’m unemployed and renting a room in my friend’s house.’ I felt at that moment as though I had messed everything up, but what made me feel like that, really? What was it that I felt I had failed at so badly? It’s challenging coming back from a year abroad and having to start all over again, (again!) with no money, no home, no career. It’s easy to feel as though you have been left behind when you see others with all the things people ‘should’ have as they approach 40 – a home, a car, a beautiful family. But that can’t be it, can it? We can’t go on measuring our success based on such limited parameters. Self-esteem and self-worth have to come from within and that means measuring your own, and others, success not on what you own, how much money you have, or (if you are a blogger) your impact on social media. So what should we measure success by then? One of my all time heroes is the wonderful Maya Angelou and a quote of hers springs to mind:
‘At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.’ Maya Angelou
I made a promise that I will try to stop judging myself based on what other people do and have, but instead to see how lucky and blessed I am to have such wonderful family and friends, a body that (while it may not be perfect) works from top to toe, and perhaps most importantly, to be in a position where I might not have much but I do have the most important things – a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food in my belly. Anything else is just a bonus.
I may not have much in the way of material things, and I certainly don’t have much money, but I am definitely one of the lucky ones. In my failed life so far I have danced in the rain, dived in the sea, jumped from a plane, helped others (and been helped by even more) and laughed until I cried on more occasions than I can count. In the years I wasted not forging a career I travelled all around the world and met a wonderfully diverse range of people from all walks of life, many of whom I still call friends. I’d like to think I made at least a few of them feel good.