What is that drives us to be SOMETHING or SOMEONE? Aren’t we already a ‘something’ or a ‘someone’ before we have even left our mother’s womb? What defines this ‘landmark’ as a ‘someone’ in our lives? WHO defines this? Is it ourselves? The media? Family? Friends? Our achievements?
Having lived a life on the road as a touring gypsy/musician for the past 3 years, I feel I can say that I am all too familiar with the emotional roller coaster involving self-pressure, doubt and everything in between. I truly believe my battles with unrealistic expectations have lead to many moments of overwhelming reflection. I don’t get all that much time to stop and process all the somewhat insane things that occur throughout my adventures on the road, but when I do, these moments seem to be flooded with absolute, all-encompassing stress of self-judgement and the unintentional judgement of others. So, WHY do these all-too-brief reflective moments stem from negativity and self-expectation? I believe you either have the gene, or you don’t. I was born with the mad nerd/perfectionist gene, transforming me into a crazy study addict/over-achiever in high school, followed up by an inquisitive but stubborn attitude that drove me to literally jump in my van and DRIVE. Driving myself down a road to be SOMETHING. To feel like SOMEONE.
As the saying goes, we are often our own worst enemy. Living a fast-paced lifestyle, particularly when it involves doing the things you love, I have found to be so incredibly rewarding. However, when I find myself immersed in these small moments of reflection, the overwhelming feelings begin to creep in. Faster and faster. Until, before I know it, I’m welling up with tears for no apparent reason; I’m exhausted, angry, grateful, sad, disappointed… I indeed turn into my own worst enemy, and interestingly enough, my family’s too. A pattern I have noticed over the past few years has involved these emotions breaking through the surface when I step foot into my family home back in QLD. I’m initially full of joy, embracing my family after moons of time apart. But this joy quickly seems to evolve into negative feelings I can’t seem to comprehend at the time. It almost feels like I’ve morphed into a completely different person to that of a few hours prior, when I was cruising the open roads.
That ‘perfectionist’ gene that I mentioned before seems to come into play here. I don’t want to be projecting these negative emotions on to my dear family. I want to be the happy, vibrant traveller most other people see when I’m away from home. Here comes the guilt. Why cant I be the ‘someone’ I long for my family to see? The ‘someone’ everyone else seems to see.
Because, the minute i made the decision to be something or someone, expectation already became my enemy. The balance was lost, when it should have been cultivated. The pure intention was overshadowed by self-doubt, which turned into a mission of self-achievement, rather than living a life WHOLLY for the benefit of others. This mental acknowledgement of selfless living would naturally progress into a long term beneficial life for myself. I’ve often organically experienced this. But it’s when I slip into that state of angst, under the extreme pressure that I create for MYSELF, through the demon that is unrealistic self-expectation, the balance is lost.