It’s a race, and it’s you against everyone else. It’s You vs. them. Two runners in your mind. Your entire life you have been training. You know you are the better runner, because you’ve put in the work, not because you were born special or superior. So you run. You run as fast as you can. You reach the finish line but you stop. You wait around. You don’t know why you are waiting. While you wait, you worry. You are afraid of success. While you wait, the other person strolls through the finish line. They have been walking at a leisurely pace, stopping to smell the roses along the way and sometimes even carried by their loved ones while you ran as fast as you could. And they win. Not because they are better than you, but because you stopped running.
Regardless of how hard you work, if you don’t think you deserve something you will never get it. My entire life I have worked hard to prove something to myself. I wanted to prove to myself that I was worthy of the things that I desired. I thought that if it was proven to be factual that what I wanted was mine, if I earned my dreams, I would achieve them. But that’s not the way the world works.
I remember in one of my favorite shows, Pushing Daisies, Emerson Cod says, “The truth ain’t like puppies: a bunch running around and you pick your favorite.” But in the real world it is. The truth (other than science without the politics) is mostly a popularity contest. Everyone picks their favorite. Your job is to love your truth through understanding it regardless of how many others love it. Learn who you are and pick your puppy according to your lifestyle regardless of whether it is the runt of the litter or the ugliest puppy you’ve ever seen. Then love it regardless of how many people want to pet it or how many it scares.
Most of us are brought up knowing that we are worthy. Some of us know that we are worthy before it is even known what we want to do with ourselves. Those are the people that make it.
This is why inequalities such as class and race are important. They do things to our impressionable young minds that we carry with us through our adulthood. We minorities live in mediocrity and don’t even truly know why. We aim for the top floor of a skyscraper, even when we deserve the moon. If the moon is what we worked hard for then the moon is what we deserve. The moon is what we should be getting. But we grow up knowing that we need to work twice as hard to get half as much so we aim for that half. Aim for that half and we get even less than the downgraded version of our dreams, because when you grow up struggling it takes hold of you like Stockholm syndrome. You fall in love with the struggle as it takes you into its basement and keeps you hostage.
Life is a race. And it’s you against them. Your job is to train hard enough to not only feel, but know that you will win. Your job is to keep running. My job is to keep running. It is better to walk leisurely and keep going than to run and stop to worry.