You Don’t Have to Be The Next Oprah
As a kid I wanted to be an Olympic figure skater or swimmer. Which made no sense considering I hate the cold almost as much as I hated getting up on Saturday mornings for swim meets when everyone else was at slumber parties. Oh, and I wasn’t very good at either sport. I just so desperately wanted a THING. You know, that talent that you’re known for, that purpose in life that defines you. I didn’t want to be just good at something, I wanted to be GREAT.
It’s been a bit of an obsession, being great. The desperate need and search for it has made me semi-miserable for most of my adult life. When I discovered I could build a career around beauty, a subject matter I never dreamed could pay the bills, I was all in. I built this blog and collaborated on two skincare lines. I even put my name on this website and those products. I loved every minute of it, including the thought that maybe I was finally going to be great at something. Because being “great” would mean I’d worked hard enough. That I was talented enough. That I was good enough. For myself, for the world, for whoever had thought of or treated me otherwise. I look back on this flawed thought process with equal parts sadness and compassion. Sadness that I thought being really good at something would keep me safe and happy. Compassionate because instead of making me happy, striving for greatness made me really tired and disconnected from myself.
I’m only now shifting my focus from trying to be great to trying to be open to life’s possibilities. That, of course, scares the hell out of me. What if I’m not successful with whatever this new mindset brings? What if I lose everything because I’m too busy finding myself? During a recent freak out session along those lines, my boyfriend/spirt animal/personal Yoda responded: “You don’t have to be the next Oprah.” And the biggest wave of relief washed over me. I don’t want to be great anymore; I want to be the greatest version myself, whoever she is.
typography // jenna kutcher