Letters to Life

Letters to Life (63)

“My only competition is the person I was yesterday”Unknown

Dear Life,

Psychology class taught me about conflict theory and its division of people into two groups: the one is focused on cooperaton working together towards something, being a part of a team. The other is competition based and its members strive only to always be the best, regardless of others.

I believe, Life, that even in pretending I was cooperative, I’ve spent the majority of you being the opposite, desperately trying to be the best at something, just so someone would acknowledge my talents, my worth, my sole existence.

Everything was a competition to me which, in my eyes,  I was constantly failing. This made me try even harder to gain everyone’s (or just someone’s) respect, turning you into a vicious circle of failure, Life.

This week I met someone who’s a lot like the me from twenty years ago: always keen to shower anyone and everything with never-asked-for-and-seldomly-accurate-wisdom, pressuring for others to believe their words so as to elevate everyone’s opinion of them.

This encounter reminded me that somewhere in my past, Life, I’ve strayed from my base camp and have found solace on the other side of competition. Thankfully, I liked the ambience here much better, as now, years later, being cooperative keeps rewarding me with growing amounts of inner peace.

There’s less fighting, there’s less frustration, there’s less seriousness. There’s much more room for fun, laughter, and, most importantly: others.

If psychology is right on this one, I feel I am on the better team now. There’s more people willing to help each other out, and even if you don’t excel at something (or anything), there’s acceptance and kindness all around.

Being competitive is a lonely walk and I thank you for leading me the opposite way.

You and I, Life. That’s teamwork.


 

 

Are you competitive or cooperative? Let me know in the comments (or write a better blog post about this topic) 😉 ↓↓

Letters to Life

Letters to Life (60)

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain”Dolly Parton

 


Dear Life,

I once read that after 30 days of trying something new, it will become normal.

Today is day 49 of the Dutch quarantine.

Last Thursday, Life, you found me on a bench outside the local supermarket, waiting for my mother to return from a small errand. Sure, I could have gone in with her, but we’re only allowed into the store with a cart. And two carts for one bottle of milk seemed a bit too much. So I remained outside, in the sun, sitting on a bench more than the specified 1.5 metres away from the rest of the human world.

Meanwhile, a line of people started forming, all patiently waiting for a disinfected shopping cart to take into the supermarket. One girl was burdened with the task of cleaning the carts, one at a time, and handing them to the customers, one at a time. Even if it was taking a lot of time, nobody complained. People laughed. People talked. People were understanding.

I simply stared at the scene in front of me, Life, and felt sad. Despite people’s merriness in times like this, I couldn’t help but wonder what the world will look like post-corona. Maybe I am moving too fast in my thinking, but I know that nothing lasts forever, Life, and this too shall pass. Eventually.

Never one to like the ordinary, the first two weeks of quarantine I surprisingly found myself longing for “normal”. Now, with Quarantine Week 8 lurking around the corner, normal has changed. I’ve actually gotten used to the current state of affairs.

I hope that whatever you have in store for us, Life, us humans will carry it with pride like we do now. And that we’ll keep our merry spirits indefinitely.

Until the new normal will have, once again, been redefined.

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you are all in good health and spirits. Let’s all hope our current normal will quickly be followed by a better version ❤
Heart to Post

HEART TO POST – Trying To Fold My Life Into (Preferably Not A Frog) Shape

“Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay”Simone de Beauvoir


If life was measured by origami skills, I’d have a serious problem.

The other day I did the unthinkable: I searched out an old acquaintance on social media.

There are numerous reasons never to do this, the main one being it’s only going to make you feel bad about yourself. Because comparison always does.

A quick memo on comparison:

  1. You compare yourself to someone else and you lose: their lives seem better, more fulfilled. You think it’s just this one person leading a better life? Think again! Clicking through on their page is only going to make you believe every other person you come across has a better life than the one before. It’s a snowball effect of misery waiting to play avalanche on your self-esteem.
  2. You compare yourself to someone else and you win: or so you think. Ask yourself why you picked this particular person to measure yourself up to with. Possibly because you knew, deep down, you’d look better. Which is merely a sad way to cover the fact you’re displeased with your life as is. This rush of “look at me being superior!” will run off quickly, only to be succeeded by default unhappiness.

Either way you spin it, social comparison leads to despair. I know this, yet I fell for it as I recognised someone on the background of a TV show and suddenly wondered how they’d ended up.

Well… Let me put it this way: their life evolved itself a little different from mine. And by little I mean a lot!

After the initial shock (and familiar the-whole-world-is-moving-forward-and-I’m-standing-still-feeling) wore off, I realised we’re both where we need to be in life, her going her way and me going mine.

And don’t need to prove anything to anyone (although I wish I could run 10k in under less than one hour like her).

If life was an origami paper, she’s folded hers into a different shape than I did mine. In all honesty: I don’t even know what shape I am aiming for! The only bloody thing I can actually fold successfully is a frog!

-Ribbit, ribbit - I am a frog
You have to admit it’s a pretty decently folded frog, right! Sadly, it’s the only thing I can fold out of paper…

And I don’t want to be a frog, I want to be something else.

Something delicate, something special. The kind of origami you can only create after years of trying.

Because what’s the point in being like everyone else?

So I keep trying to fold something special, failing, and unfolding again. I keep straightening my paper down, drumming my fingers on the table impatiently before trying out something new.

I refuse to listen to how others folded their papers. And that’s where this woman and me went different ways: she followed instructions and created something beautiful. An origami creature that matches that of many others, but makes her (and many others) happy.

I don’t want something beautiful. I don’t want my silly frog! I want something exceptional. Something incomparable.

Because comparison never made anyone happy, and I want to be happy, but happy my way.

 

 

 

 

 


OH MY HEAVENS it’s a panda! It’s got to be a panda what I’m trying to fold! How could I not see it? If anyone’s got the secret instructions on how to make an origami panda, please share them with me! 😉
Heart to Post

Wednesday Wisdom-Tile

Hope you are all having a good week!

Heart to Post

Wednesday Wisdom-Tile

Pfft, I want to write more, not just post links to videos or share an image (although making these tiles actually takes a fair amount of time). I’m getting there, I promise! 🙂

Meanwhile, I wish you all a good week!