As an American, not competing seems almost blasphemous, but I feel the world is competitive enough. And fighting against each other under this idea of finite resources is overrated, freezing, and frankly part of the reason why we lack compassion.
Blogger Lisa Kramer wrote this thought-provoking article and she asks, Do you ever read things that make you doubt your path? Because she had just finished reading an amazing book, and she was “questioning” herself as a writer.
I immediately thought, no. When I read something like her article, I open a word document and get writing. Or I jot down notes or pull out quotes from good books. I get inspired. I love reading, and I push away any thoughts that my writing can’t be good enough in comparison to someone else’s.
It’s not because I have an overinflated ego or sense of self, it’s just I believe you can be good at what you do, and I can be good at what I do, too. Even if we are both writing about education, teaching, or Thailand, you and I are going to have different points of view. You and I have different interpretations on a green bean casserole. And some folks might prefer your mushy soft recipe over my crunchy topped one, and that’s normal.
Somewhere between young and mature adult I decided I wasn’t going to be jealous of other women anymore. She could be pretty and so could I. And somehow between blogging about Thailand and my experiences here, I decided the market is super saturated with Thailand bloggers and I don’t really want to be one of them.
I know me. And I am not passionate about travel blogging, and sharing all those ins and outs of the country I currently reside in. Now, don’t get me wrong, because I live here, I don’t mind blogging about what I know. Yet, at the end of the 7-11 day, I know it’s teaching, education and writing that really gets me excited, and Thailand is only the backdrop, and setting to the current stage of my life.
For my online writing course, I finished writing and researching about the privatization of public education in the US which is built upon the premise of creating a “free market” within our school systems. So the theme of competition is all over my mind.
Look, I can be competitive – to the point of being an embarrassment. I hate losing games and I love smack talk. But when I’m engaged with other writers, who are so incredible, I don’t think, “I’m doomed! Whaahahahahha.” Instead, I’m thinking, “Wow! Hot damn, you’re good.” I guess because I don’t want your ability to shine to make me think I can’t shine, too. Maybe your spotlight will be bigger and that’s okay. I don’t mind.
But what do I know? To the writing world, the teaching world, the blogging world, I’m essentially – a nobody. Yet, I find it far more interesting to cooperate rather than compete with my fellow writers, teachers and bloggers. I’d rather smile at a beautiful woman than seethe inside over my perceived inadequacies. And I’d rather draw inspiration from my fellow writers and teachers, and hopefully they do the same in return, than wish I was better, put them down, or simply give up.
What do you think?