“Winning” is an interesting pillar of our society, ain’t it? Since moving to NYC/as the weird, overstimulated millennial I am, there is definitely a “hustle your balls off or get out” mentality in the air I breathe on a daily basis. People like me enjoy one upping just about everyone except Beyonce, particularly in the form of a not so subtle Internet brag. But like, who is actually winning? Is anyone even paying attention to us? I realized the other day that absolutely 100% no. They’re not. And about 2 days after that I realized that’s the beauty of it.
Last week, I tried a little “self-improvement/love project.” I was feeling super “meh” because my allergies were bad and hadn’t shaved my legs in about 2 days too long. And of course about 9 zillion other things because…#feelings.
I gave myself a mission and titled it, “YOU DIDN’T PLAY INDIVIDUAL SPORTS FOR A REASON, BUT YOU NEED TO LEARN HOW TO WIN BY YOURSELF.” Lengthy title, I know, but such is life. Anyway, here’s how it worked:
You know when you go see a nutritionist or a doctor and they’re like, “So, you’re a little fat. Maybe you should keep a food journal so you can see just how many times a week you’re eating microwaved nachos and Happy Hippos in your bed alone.” And you’re like, “Yeah, sure. Except obviously all I eat is Kale. I don’t understand what you want from me.” So you don’t do it. Because you’re ashamed and also, like, writing things on paper is hard. But what if we weren’t writing down our sneaky potato chip binges that only you and your God need to know about?
So, for 3 days, I decided to use my fav TD Bank pen (thanks, Sean) to write down every little victory I felt in my dope ass notebook that says “Like A Boss” on it (thanks, Janey). And, low and behold, pretty quickly, I realized that because I was looking for wins, I was noticing far more of them.
I’m talking everything from “Woke up 82 after a long run last night” to “my boss liked some copy I wrote” to “my lashes look super symmetrical on my left eye today”, “saw college friends and got drunk on a Wednesday because I love them!” and finally, “I didn’t cry at SoulCycle!”
This might sound really fluffy and like it plays in to the “constant need for reward” culture we tend frown upon. But for once, the only reward I gave myself was a few days of surplus swagger and happiness. Of 100% independently fueled fulfillment. I tend to lean far to the end of a spectrum that craves constant attention and confirmation from others that it’s okay for me to feel good and be happy. I blame having diabetes, duh. Blaming is fun and easy. I like distractions from myself. However, I’m learning how to balance that. How to bop independently through my days doing things I enjoy just as much as I would on a date night with an old friend. To see just as much humor in a joke told in a meeting as I would watching an Improv show with my boyfriend. To find joy in every aspect of my life, whether social interactions are included or not. Some people are really, really good at this. I, however, am a work in progress.
After just a few days of being hyper-focused on winning at my own competition, I felt infinitely better about myself. I think sometimes we get too ahead of ourselves and set goals for that are lofty, and too big for us to really experience the joy of accomplishing. Or, they’re so outrageous, we forget about them almost immediately. Sometimes a little self-improvement doesn’t need to involve months of reflection and introspection. The little wins, yo. I’m telling you. Try it. Just a few days here and there to remind ourselves that no matter who is or is not paying attention, as long as you go to bed at night with a smile on your face, who the hell cares what the score is?