New year, new challenges, new you. Kicking off the new year there appear to be so many expectations for ourselves and our lives. As far as I can remember I have always thought about self-improvement. Deep down I always felt unfinished as I struggled with self esteem and acceptance of myself. As a young child I was always told by a family member how stupid I was, worthless and how I would never amount to anything, that person was my grandfather. Mom and dad were divorced so my grandfather took my mom, sister and I. Being only fives years old at the time we were at the mercy of my grandfather, no taking us out of love but obligation for being a poor father to my mother as she reconnected with him after many years of losing contact.
Many of you reading this may feel so far well what’s the point already, I am getting there. The point is the effect that we as adults have over young minds. As father myself I know what It means to influence young minds correctly with love and patience. My daughter is eight years old and I honestly have made all the mistakes parents have done including only child syndrome is what I call it which is complete and utter spoilage, but she is a kind, passionate, caring individual who resembles her dad way too much.
Growing up into adulthood nothing really changed until I got married and have my daughter feeling a real sense value, but in all honestly that happened in late twenties, early thirties, losing so many years of my life of feeling valueless. So what prompted this new sense of reminiscence, well the new year of course, self-reflection and of course looking at my life and of those peers in my life and not in my life making comparisons to this day. Being forty-one years old I often think what choices I could have made differently in my life. I look at those who are much younger then me making incredible waves in their life and yes we should be happy for when people succeed, but we all want to be successful in life, I just can’t help to feel I have failed in this life professionally that is.
As a father and husband, I think I have done fairly well, but always room for improvement and I think at my age I should be much farther in life. I probably have nothing to complain about with two degrees in business, a career in finance and software and a unique skill set.
I often think of young, accomplished writers having recently watched the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden being an American and there was a young poet by the name of Amanda Gorman, a speaker, activist, a Harvard grad, Youth poet Laurette and only twenty-three years old from Los Angeles, my hometown. I look at this young woman who is obviously gifted and ask myself could I have been gifted like this young woman or are only certain people meant to be special in this world while the rest of society of average unimpressive. I know you can sense the sarcasm, but even though I cannot compare myself to her for one she is a poet, I am not, she a Harvard grad I am not, she is twenty-three I am not. Looking back, I think did I and have I lived to my full potential and I think the answer is No.
I know we should not compare ourselves to others we all have our own life journey, but deep down don’t we all want to leave this earth one day knowing we left a mark on the world or is it more important to leave a mark on those people in our life that matters, I am confused clearly.
So in the new year how do I hope to solve this lifelong problem well for one it will not be easy as I believe many may struggle with the same feelings about themselves. Maybe I need to love myself more, cut myself a break or even look to what I truly have in this life instead of wishing for something different or better. It’s important to all of us to be comfortable in our own skin, but at times we can not when others are making comparisons for us and where we should be in life. Being 40ish I should be somewhere else better in my life, but I also understand its about our life’s choices, maybe I did not choose wisely and should have thought more carefully. Being that I am also an instructor for young minds I work with young adults all the times trying to set a good example and guide them so they don’t make the same mistakes.
I do know I have a second chance to pass down good habits to my daughter and others to know that the sky is the limit to their potential, they are not worthless, valuable, and but never allow anyone to tell you cannot do something. If you happen to be one of those individuals like myself then I will say to you and myself let’s look to the beauty of what we have in this life and even if you say I have none you do, look deeper, harder and you shall see. If you want to make your life better, you can put no limits on yourself, strive and push to get where you want to go in life and make it happen.
Remember you are not worthless, your life has value, you are unique and not to compare your life to others in this life, each of journeys are different and you can make an impact no matter what in this life.
This continues to be a struggle for me in my life, I wish I could only snap out of it, but these feelings run deep but I know I am not alone in my feelings. Lets start 2021 with a new sense of purpose and meaning in our life and work to look to the brighter things in life, stop focusing on what is wrong, stay humble and never give up.
Lastly I will through in one more important fictional figure that has given me motivation to never give up and that is Rocky Balboa. Rocky was literally nothing, a terrible boxer until he was challenged by Apollo Creed, pushing himself to the limits becoming the man he was meant to me. We are all meant to be someone in this life, be we are like a block of stone we have to chip a pieces to reveal the masterpiece, I know it sounds cliche. New give up on yourself, we are all a work in progress! Keep punching.