I read a post a couple of days ago, and it really resonated with me. It was one those posts where, you're reading, and all of a sudden you find yourself nodding along in agreement, almost like you're listening to a sermon or having a conversation with someone.
I happened to read it after I had a hell of time making organic spaghetti with organic meat sauce FROM SCRATCH. And after reading it, I realized...I don't want to compete.
I played soccer all through college. Before that, I was the commander of the unarmed drill team for my AFJROTC unit in high school. And many years ago, as a little tike, I competed in dance.
I've always enjoyed the thrill of competition, and even more so the thrill of winning, but it's not so thrilling now as an adult. There is a significant difference between healthy competition and unhealthy competition, but because I'm competitive by nature, I often find myself in unhealthy competition.
I'll find myself secretly competing with other wives, other moms, other Christians. Like...who can have the sexiest, most down-to-earth husband who rubs your back with one hand and does the cleaning with the other? And who can prepare an all organic, non-gmo, completely gourmet dinner while breastfeeding at the same time? Who can write the most profound, spiritual Facebook post that leads 20 people to Christ?
Part of it is the advent of social media. But if I'm being completely honest with myself, social media isn't totally to blame.
It's me. I'm my own worst enemy. I'm my harshest critic. I'm the most ruthless competitor against myself. And for what?
Why do I run myself into the ground trying be some version of myself that I don't even care about?
Of course, I think my husband's sexy. Of course, I want to be the best mom I can possibly be. Of course, I want to cook healthy, delicious meals. Of course, I want to show Jesus' love to those around me...
So Why. Isn't. That. Enough?
Like the author of the post said, what if I just want a simple life?
One of the downsides of my generation (millennials) is that we all want to be great. We want to conquer the world, and make a name for ourselves. We want to be the best and brightest at everything.
Don't get me wrong, that's admirable, when channeled in the right direction. And contrary to what many from older generations say, I do believe we actually work hard for the things we have.
But what's our motivation to get those things?
I don't want to live my life constantly trying to outdo everyone else. And I don't want to spend my time always comparing my life to what others' lives look like.
It's impossible to be THE best at anything. But I can always be MY best at whatever I'm doing.
And if I enjoy what I'm doing, and I'm doing it for the right reasons, then I'm successful. If I'm always trying to be the best wife, mom, daughter, writer, and Christ-follower that I can be, then that's all that matters.
I don't have to live up to the ridiculous expectations I've set for myself. I don't have to be a seven-figure "girlboss," who still manages to cook all of her family's meals and homeschool her children, while still having a deeply intimate relationship with her husband, and who makes it to church on time every single Sunday.
Maybe that woman exists. Maybe she doesn't. But either way, I don't have to be her.
The moral of the story is...I don't want to compete with anyone anymore. And I don't want anyone to feel like they have to compete with me. I don't need to cross the finish line first. I just hope we all make it across.