“The Ego, however, is not who you really are. The ego is your self-image; it is your social mask; it is the role you are playing. Your social mark thrieves on your approval. It wants control, and it is sustained by power, because it lives in fear.”
~ Deepak Chopra
After 31 years together, I am breaking up with you.
You have been a constant source of anxiety and the need to compare. A reflection of who you believe I should be. You have me locked away in my own thoughts, which ultimately creates self-judgment. And then spirals into fear.
Fear of not succeeding. Remember when I was laid off twice in two years? That sucked. You made me feel cast away, worthless and unappreciated. I wish I had the strength to tell you to shut up. I would have then realized a lot quicker that it wasn’t personal and it was just business.
Or most recently, when I came second for the job I had my heart set on. You felt my heart drop but still left me feeling unqualified. Even stupid. But you failed to remind me that I went as far as I could, without actually landing the job and that in itself is something to be celebrated! Why didn’t you praise me for that? A simple high five would have been nice.
But instead I let myself spiral into a low that caused me to hit my yoga mat extra hard, cry and believe the universe was out to punish me.
But the universe wasn’t punishing me. It was teaching me a lesson about self perseverance but you kept bringing me down. The way I saw it, you didn’t want me to succeed.
I am trying to live in the moment but you keep dragging me into the past. Reminding me of the times jobs didn’t work out, relationships failed and blah blah blah.
I have had enough.
You love when I log onto Facebook or Instagram and compare my life to my virtual friends. You make me believe I am the last single babe in the entire world and that everyone else is madly in love, getting married and having beautiful babies. And here I am, living with my identical twin sister. That’s weird right? S*it. That’s you telling me it’s weird.
Social media through a selective eye, bruises the ego, as much as it builds it.
I will not creep away anymore hours with you over my shoulder because ultimately I am judging just as much as you are judging me. I vow never to “like” another selfie of a friend. Comment on another epic shot from a friends far away vacation. Or follow people I barely know but online we are BFFs.
I am just as guilty of posting sunset after sunset shot, to prove I live in the most magical place on earth and whoever is looking at it doesn’t. Yoga poses, which in reality took me an entire summer of falling on my ass to nail. And then there are the food pictures. Sorry. Actually, eating and cooking healthy isn’t something to be sorry about. Especially my tofu pockets stuffed with local candied salmon…yum.
Ok, back to the point of my letter. I am writing to remind you, no one is perfect.
I was ashamed to tell you, but I am going back to my old serving job. You know the one. I worked there 13 years ago. Serving my way through University and the early years of my career. And now I need to fall back on it again. Hustle for the tips. No shame in earning an honest buck. But I knew you would make fun of me and tell me everyone will think that I have failed. I couldn’t bear it.
Instead, I choose to be thankful and optimistic during this time of change. Hell, I will even make friends with the younger servers and slam wine with them after our shifts. Don’t judge me. We both know I work hard and will continue to work towards my dreams. But you like to make me forget that.
I now chose to laugh at my failures and keep my eyes forward. Rather than sneaking glances behind me because that’s where you will be waiting.
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Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: elephant archives