Dear mum, dear dad, dear school, mostly dear mum,
I can’t do it anymore. I can’t change the world. I can’t be famous, or a number 1 Best Seller or photographer. I can’t do it. It’s too much. It’s exhausting. It’s too much. I admit it.
It always felt like I had to. I suppose that’s why I used to read obituaries of famous people, desperately looking for the secrets to how they got to be there, in the papers – the height of recognition! Though ironically they were dead.
But I can’t strive for all that anymore. All that striving has led to exhaustion, and lack of self-esteem as those Great Expectations weren’t met. As I looked around for praise and fame that would make me think I was doing enough.
So I can’t do that any more. But what I can do is all this:
– Be satisfied with all I’ve got, which is so much!
– Be happy with what I’ve done so far with my life, which is already so much!
– Be calm, nice, quiet, and pass quietly through life.
– Be grateful, happy, and enjoy simple things in the present moment.
– Do what I love, what makes me smile, without a single expectation of greatness.
– Stop running, striving.
– Stop feeling inadequate and accept myself as I am, that this version of me is wonderful and enough. I am enough, just like this. There’s no need for more.
– Carry on watching and actively participating in the wonderful unfolding of life, which will all on its own bring as many wonders and adventures and surprises as I’ve been lucky enough to have already.
Dear mum, I hope you understand. I think you do.
Lots of love,
I often write letters to my mother, even though she died 8 years ago. It’s wonderfully therapeutic. About this one, that I wrote a couple of months ago: her parents, my grandparents, were on the fringes of the Bloomsbury Set, the Virginia Woolf literary crowd in 1920’s and 30’s London. Ever since then, that side of our family has been expected to move in such circles, but we don’t. Our whole private schooling expected it too. I think that’s where all this comes from. It’s been a recurring theme in my life, striving-for-great-heights, that’s finally calming down. That’s why I share this here, because I have a feeling it’s common to many people these days.