{Diary Entry #08} Not Competing

mayo 09, 2019

I am very competitive. But I don't enjoy it.

Story time. 

I used to be top of my class every year, without really trying (by this I mean I studied hard, but I enjoyed it; it wasn't a chore, it was just what I did). But then classmates started to compete with me, literally saying at the beginning of the year they wanted to outdo me. Every year I had to make sure to  get the best grades, 'cause whether they pushed me to it or it was me all along, it turned out I am competitive. And it sucked.

So I quit.

Because even if I was winning, I wasn't happy.

The reason I don't really enjoy "winning" is because it turns something that can be about you (learning and being awesome) into something about the other (they are less, you are more). And it makes you inflexible. Resilience is something I struggle with to this day, and I think that if I was more used to appreciating learning from failure, I would be better at it.

We live in a society that definitely fosters competition to extreme degrees, and everyday I try to take steps in the opposite direction. Don't get me wrong, I still get a kick out of being first in my classes (I'm not that in all of them, but percentage-wise I'm not too shabby), but I am 100% aware this cannot be my engine in life. It's toxic, it's taxing, and it's just not how I wanna do things.

There will always be someone better at something. Also, there will never be someone as awesome at my life than me. I am a constant work in progress, as is everyone else, and I should never lose perspective of who I want to be and what I can achieve, no matter how many million individuals achieve the exact same thing.

Also, collaboration is awesome! There is nothing like being open about your projects and enriching yourself from someone who is as passionate as you, even if that means going after the same grant or spot sometimes (and you'll see, eventually, there will be a space for the two or three or five of you somewhere else). 

So today I chose to help my classmate, and to ask for help as well. And it was great!

I'm not going to lie and say it was easy, or that sometimes I don't feel threatened by other overachievers, but I'm trying to celebrate others' victories complete regardless of my own. And viceversa.

But I'm getting there. Slowly. And that's enough.

We can all be awesome, there's space for all of us.

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