How To Avoid Being A Crab In A Bucket

After a while, enough was enough. I suppose life has a way of moving in a direction. Something happens and eventually, no one can pretend anymore. Either the prophecy plays out or something happens and a light goes on. And that’s it. There’s no more pretending.
There’s no more excuses and there’s no more need to rationalize anything because suddenly, everything is what it is.
Finally, everything is out in the open and the pretending can stop. If this is the bottom, as they say, then this means we can rebuild from here, right?

The truth is no one ever knows what happens in someone else’s life. It is a lie to think we know it all or understand everything.
It is also inaccurate to put anyone on a pedestal because the truth is we all have our things that only make us human.

There has been a piece of me that will always be afraid. There is a part of me that worries. There is a part of me that reacts to old fears and old ideas that are no longer applicable.
Instead, the old ideas are only limiting fears that create self-destructive patterns that play out like obstacles in the way of my better future.
More to the point, there will always be the little seeds of doubt, which tend to grow. However, there will also be seeds of hope. They can grow too but like any seed, the one I nurture most is the one that will survive the best. 

I used to give into the highbrow and take everything to heart. I used to feel the need to argue and be validated; as if the lack of validation was an insult to my being.
This was a long-running altercation between me and my ego; always looking for the reward, always demanding the attention, and moreover, always afraid that people might see the worst of my fears. And what happens then?

All this time, I did either one of two things: I either pat myself on the back or beat myself over the head.
And there I was, trying so hard. 
There I was trying to be “Something,” because I was never sure if I was actually, “Anything,” which is why I always wanted to be “Something,” rather than, “Nothing,” but meanwhile; I was something all along. I just never understood how to nurture this properly.

The idea that you or me or anyone is better is only because of our trained comparisons which dictate and determine our direction in life.
I am no Rembrandt when it comes to painting with a paintbrush.
I never learned how to play the piano so the idea of me opening for Billy Joel someday might be out of the question.
I’m not afraid to dance or sing but this doesn’t mean I’ll be on stage to a sold out show at Radio City Music Hall.
Safe to say, I’ll never hit a home run out of Yankee, Shea, or any other stadium like Fenway Park.
I’ll never be the creator of Google or Microsoft and I’ll never be part of the wealthy gene pool or gain the inheritance of someone related to Bill Gates or any of the four children of Jeff Bezos, who by the way has a net worth of almost $150 billion.

I was reading about a pod-caster that received a deal of $100 million to do his show on Spotify.
There is a reality show, which I refuse to name because I do not want to further degrade myself publicly by admitting that I know it — but either way, there are people from this show that literally degrade mankind and common decency, yet, they have their own television show.
Safe to say that I do not have my own television show. It is also safe to say that even if I practice as hard as I can and even if I produce a great level of talent, somehow, I don’t believe the NBA will call me to start for the New York Knicks anytime soon.

The idea that we are all made equally is simply not true. And do you want to know something? I say this is good.
The same as I will never have the same talent as my favorite poets or the comedic talent of someone like say Robin Williams (may he rest in peace) or the same as I’ll never carry a note like James Taylor when he sings, Close Your Eyes with Carly Simon, none of them will ever have the same talents as me.

For some reason we address our connections of thinking to success, wealth or fame. For some reason, we appropriate our worth with body-types and social status.
For some reason, our eyes are caught in the glimmer of others, and yet, here we are, never seeing our own beauty, never knowing how much light we shed upon others, and never finding out how truly amazing it is that by simply being us, we can literally inspire, empower, and encourage other people around us. And this is life saving.
I say this because we rarely understand the value of a smile or how lifesaving it is to just hear the word, “Hello,” when all else feels lonely.

We set our sights on the moon and if we miss, we sink into the ideas that suggest we might not be enough.
I have done this historically and habitually since childhood.
And why?
Well, the reason is obvious. Everyone wants the right to shine. Everyone wants to be wanted and desired.
Everyone wants to be the person that is picked first when choosing teams. No one wants to be picked last or feel unwanted, or worse, undesirable.
No one asks for this the same as no one asks to have their DNA be challenged by height, weight, or appearance, and mental illness. But like it or not and happy with this or not, the shell we call our body is a capsule which contains all the necessary ingredients to our success. This is us.

The limitations I set upon myself, including my doubts and insecurities, as well as the limitations of my fears and my worries and additionally, my sins of vanity and the pressures of “win or lose,” is solely brought upon me by myself. 
I used to look around and compare my life. I used to look at people that had what I wanted to have. Then I would think about this with an angry force. The internal narrative would cling to every doubt in my mind, which essentially, put me down and left me to believe, “That will never be me.”

There are times when it is okay to say this. There are times when it is okay to say, “I don’t have faith in this,” which is fine as long as this does not destroy the faith we have within ourselves. 
I used to direct my connections to right or wrong, good or bad, and wealthy or poor. I am literally guilty of all the sins which I have condemned in others. I am human. I admit this openly, freely, and without regret or contempt.

The idea however, that I need to be “Something” or I will be “Nothing” is nothing but an imaginary fear that is based on insecure ideas that suggest I won’t ever be as great as someone else.
I know this is true because I know I will never be anyone else but me. Then again, no one else in the world will ever be me.
Therefore, if I am to nurture anything; it is best to nurture this. It is better for me to nurture my seeds of hope.
Otherwise, the seeds of my doubt can grow and take away the best of my ability, which will eventually prove that my fears were true. And rather than try, I’ll just quit before I start.

I don’t know where I will be this time next year. I’m not even sure where I will be this time next month. I only know that I need to give myself the permission to have something to look forward to.
I have to give myself the permission to have something to aspire to. I have to come to a decision and then act on it because no; truth is I’ll never be Shakespeare and I’ll never be Bourroughs, or Kerouac, Carroll, or Hemingway. But I also know that none of them will ever be me. No one will ever be me, which means it is better that I serve this rather than serve the ideas that suggest I’ll never add up.

One thing I have learned in life is no one knows what goes on in someone else’s mind.
Another thing I have learned is everyone is recovering from something in one form or another.
We all feel. We all cry. And we all have hard times. I learned that a nice smile does not always mean nice people. In fact, I have learned that some people do good things for bad reasons. Either way, none of this is any of my business and nor is it yours. 

All I know is I have spent too much time, pent up, afraid, too scared to be imperfect, and too petrified to be vulnerable and hear the word, “No.”
Eventually, enough is enough. Pretending never worked well for me. So, if this is my life then let this be my life. Let me nurture it because this will always be all that I have.

To hell with the critics. To hell with the judges. To hell with the ones that put others down. To hell with the ones that point out the flaws in everyone else.
Let me put them to the side. Let me hold onto the top best people in my life that push me, support me, comfort me, and encourage me. Otherwise, like crabs in the bucket, I will be pulled down and never climb high enough to reach my goals.

Just keep writing, kid.”
Don’t worry. I plan to.

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