I recently read this great post on life and learning and self-expectations by Rach and oh my gosh, ugh, it gave me a serious case of the feelings. She said so many great things that I have also come to learn over the years about being alive, and the pressure of being a person and growing up and carving out your space and successes. I opine so much on being casual in my approach to life and being kind to myself as I grow and learn and screw up and change. I think about it a lot because I know I need that kind of self reflection and repeated affirmation to help me progress and monitor myself. It helps me to avoid getting down on myself and building up that wall of self-punishment and self-measurement based on the conviction that I should be everything I want to be immediately and all the time. That's not possible. That's not how life works. Regardless, I still feel sometimes, intrusively, that I am a bad person who is not trying hard enough.
It's way too easy to measure your entire being on one moment, one mistake, one bad thing. And just like a bad photo doesn't make you ugly, a bad thing doesn't make you a bad person. A goal not reached in a specific time frame doesn't mean you're a failure. Learning some basic thing that everyone else seems to already know doesn't make you stupid. Falling over doesn't mean you also die.
It's easy for me to think of myself as this static object. A person with a character sheet of attributes and achievements and cringeworthy personal facts. I often consider myself as a 'version' of me in comparison to all the dummies that came before me like shed snake skins, but I'm not just a body or a thing or a Super Smash Bros character ready to be shot into the sky by a tough Pikachu. I'm a life, and life is a process. I am a process. Besides which, when I watch the embarrassing five-year-old YouTube videos of people I like, I usually just think they're cute. I see them as ongoing processes and precious human beings with flaws, bad experiences, and questionable hairstyles dotted around their lives. I don't see them as people with puzzle piece shaped holes in them where they failed or made a bad decision. It makes sense to offer myself the same courtesy.
I want to be the right person, but sometimes I'm really scared of being the wrong person and that, ironically, gets in the way of me being a bit more like the right person.