Permission to be transparent today?
I was really good at tennis in high school.
Really, really good.
But I sucked at competition.
Really, really sucked.
I could happily slam a ball back and forth all day, but the minute someone would say “Hey, let’s keep score!” I’d turn into an emotional, anxious wreck.
Competition, it turns out, has never motivated me. It kills the fun in the things I love to do and makes me want to give up.
Competition anxiety is why I lost to a girl once with a twisted ankle and a sprained wrist who swatted at the ball like she was swatting a fly. She beat me 6-2, 6-0. In fact, I lost all but 2 games my entire high school career, and to be honest I’m not even sure how I managed to win those.
Still, I’ve always had a deep desire to accomplish something great. Something Martha Stewart-great or, at the time, Steffi Graf-great. As a high school tennis player, I thought that greatness meant becoming professional. Ha! Can you imagine?
I mean, how many non-competitive people become competitive athletes?
It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and to do great things, you kind of have to claw your way to the top…right? I mean, maybe you don’t have to be an uber bitch, but dontcha need to have some fight in you?
As much as I loved it, competitive tennis simply did not bring out the fight in me, and there’s a part of me that feels really cheated by this fact. I think: “What a waste.”
Fast forward to adulthood…
When I discovered blogging a few years ago, I was thrilled to find a place to write and be heard. Having a voice that goes beyond my four walls has been so healing for me…transformative in a way.
And it got me wondering:
Will this little blog be the avenue that leads me to that ‘great’ thing?
After some research, I discovered that the blogging world was yet another competitive one. EVERYONE blogs and almost every blogger wants the big numbers! And maybe I could possibly build a great big blog with a massive following, but in order to do so I would need to follow a laundry list of daily tasks and push, push, push and never stop not-even-once!
Which is fine….if I had the fight in me to do that.
But I get a sinking feeling in my stomach when I think about having to write at least 5 times a week about popular topics that contain all the right “buzz” words and pay for Facebook to show my posts to more people in order to build a great big blog with a massive following.
It’s like tennis all over again. It’s something I love and feel I do well at…but I don’t have the fight in me to keep score in the blogging world. To play the game would feel so very fake to me. I’d become a zombie writer. (Even though zombies are quite popular nowadays.)
Does any of this make any sense? Can I get a witness from any other non-competitive folks out there?
Not for one minute do I think I am a failure because I don’t have crazy-huge numbers. My reader stats may not be through the roof, but thanks to this blog my life is OVERFLOWING with friendships, opportunities and the overall sense of being known. Great big THANK-YOU baskets full of jam and bread to those of you who stop by and read! I like to imagine that we are visiting over coffee and scones each time I write and read your comments. 🙂
But still, that same old echo in my chest calls out for something…well…something more.
I have not the foggiest what that “something more” is right now but when it becomes clear to me,
I hope I better have the fight to go get it!
Again, do any of you feel this way concerning competition / the “game” / greatness? Please share. I’m interested to hear your perspective. Let’s talk and maybe find some answers together.
P.S. Allow me to close with this cute picture of Brody who’s a lover, not a fighter.