It seems the millennial "everyone is special" has birthed the post-millennial trend of "you need to be exceptional."
Just a quick browse through social media and people show their best faces, smiles, accomplishments, etc.
As a child I enjoyed watching figure skating on TV. At the time a perfectly landed triple lutz was a rare thing where everyone oohed and ahhed and the executor of it was lauded as an amazing athlete (usually male). Imagine my surprise when I found figure skating on TV just a few months ago and the girls were landing quadruple/triple combos!!!!
Just how limitless are we?!
There is a lot of pressure out there to be exceptional.
Do it "like a boss." Be a "bad@$$." "No excuses!"
"Own it!" "Nail it!"
I was walking through Target and saw this water bottle that says, "like a boss." It actually gave me a little anxiety to see it. I thought of all the ways I felt like I wasn't measuring up in an instant. Ridiculous, I know!
So, I reminded myself that I don't need to be exceptional. There is nothing wrong with ordinary. There is nothing wrong with simple. There is nothing wrong with not being a "bad@$$" at something with a Katy Perry Roar attitude.
There is nothing wrong with being a strong personality with drive and noticeable ambition, either.
All I am saying is that I am giving myself permission to not have to over-achieve anything, or prove anything to anybody.
I have the freedom to just live, breathe, love, and do.
I joke that I am always wobbling between wanting suburban materialism and rural simplicity.
Over Christmas, I was at Target for the umpteenth time. I finished my shopping and returned to my rusty mini van trying to shake off the lingering feelings of guilt I always get when I spend money beyond the normal budgeted weekly allowances. I had to wait for a woman to back out and drive away before I could move. She looked so posh in her newish black car, her professionally dyed hair up in messy bun encircled with a cute headband/earwarmer, and she drove one-handed as she sipped her Starbucks beverage. As Target bags filled the back of her car, she didn't look one bit guilty for her purchases as she sped away.
I wanted to be her.
I wanted to shop at Target with abandon and not feel guilty for buying new towels, or grabbing that cute book for my kids, or snagging those clearance cute boots.
On the drive home I thought about how I could live that life. I decided it was possible. I would just need to keep my kids in public school and get a job. Even just a part time job would give me the extra money to splurge. I could really make our little home nice and not so patch-worky. I could order Starbucks every time I walked in. Maybe I could even drive a nicer looking vehicle.
I contemplated it pretty seriously for a while, but I couldn't shake off how it would complicate things.
Did I really need to leave my home and work a job just to binge-shop at Target? Would it be worth it?
The freedom I have, that my family has with me being at home is worth the lack of funds. Sure, income can be a sort of freedom, too. It's nice to be able to just go out to eat rather than having to rush home and make something from scratch before tummies rumble on an outing.
But, my kiddos are still small. I'm still dealing with health issues and anxiety issues. And I don't need more THINGS in life just because one woman looked glamorous and guilt-free in the Target parking lot.