I can't remember a day when I had felt so down about myself. It was one of those horrible times when my only hope was knowing that at 12 o'clock that night I will be able to lay down and sleep for 6 hours interrupted only by those in my dreams and memories, but it's okay because dreams aren't real, and they pass quickly. Plus I never remember them anyways.
I called my dad. He's like the pep-talker of all pep-talkers. Probably because he has so much dang perspective. He's also my dad so he thinks I'm the greatest thing since ziploc bags, which is also inspiring. I started fishing for condolenses, as I usually do. He was true to Rod Dial form, simple and strong. He said "Elyse, you don't have to be the best ALL of the time." I fired back, "Yes.. Yes i do."
Then I thought about it for, like, three hours, ate some ice cream, and then thought about it some more.
One word about being the "best": overrated. Its like that perfect guy that you wait months for him to ask you out and when he finally does you find out he, like, watches American Idol. When you're on top, there's always people looking up at you coveting your position, wondering how you got there and questioning whether you really worked hard enough to deserve that. On the bottom, there is similar criticism. Critics are coveting the confidence it takes to wake up knowing you aren't the best. How is it that you got to be so lucky to not care what people think?
Most of my life has been full of people coveting my position on top. More so recently, however, I've also had the opposite. I've fallen short so many times in the past couple of years I didn't know it was possible to still be breathing.
It is because of this I've decided that dad's right (again). I don't have to be best all the time. I have decided to give up number 1. And with it, I give up the pressure, the attention and the expectations of that position. I adopt a new confidence in doing my best and setting my own standard.
Goodbye chastisement, Hello freedom!