Sunday, May 4, 2014

Who are we without our closed-minded, narrow versions of "success"?

I have never been a girl who wanted to be told she is beautiful. Based on my experience, this is pretty unusual. When someone compliments my work or intelligence, this is the greatest compliment I can receive. We all take pride in different things. For me, obviously, it was my academic success; I even have a tattoo of a Norwegian proverb meaning "the best kind of luggage is knowledge." For some, their children are their pride. Others, their looks. In my experience, pride is only okay in very small doses, and it often ruins our experience with the areas in which we take our pride. We push ourselves or others hard, and one day, our pride in one thing has caused negative affects in other areas of our lives. Too much energy towards one thing is never a good thing. Pride leads to expectation which can often lead to disappointment and desperation.

Because of the pride I had in being the best I could be in school, I allowed such passions as photography and writing to be forgotten, allowed this motivation to become more important than anyone in my life, dragged myself through two years of applications and moving my husband and I across state lines all to satisfy this sense of pride. When what I truly wanted, to help, could be done with a lot less school and less rigorous a program. But where would I be without my continued academic success, without becoming a doctor?

And we've all seen it dozens of times. Person pushes themselves too hard in a goal, and they lose everything they mistreated and neglected for so long. And then it hits them - they need it all back, and it may or may not be too late. The thing they need most - love and respect for themselves and what they have become - is gone as well.

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