Last month I quietly created “No-Effort November” for myself. No planning, no personal growth, no worrying about the future, and no Instagram because it just gets too noisy.
I’m sharing this because I think more of us, specifically those of us under the age of 35, could use some more deliberate non-deliberation in this very strategic world of self-operated public relations via social media. I started noticing that I was feeling rigid, stressed, and just generally frustrated with myself for not having things “figured out”. And by that, I now know that I actually mean that I hadn’t figured out a way to pigeonhole myself into a marketable commodity.
DID YOU JUST FUCKING HEAR THAT?! I was upset that I couldn’t niche down and sell myself. What the fuck? I’m a human, not a product.
And that’s why this is important to talk about. Too many of us are so sure we want to be somebody, so we try to create our “personal brand” on social media (which is brilliant, don’t get me wrong), but when we’re asked to clarify what exactly we see for ourselves and what we have to offer, we don’t really have the specifics. When we do get specific, we rattle off big numbers and goals like “I want to be a millionaire by the time I’m 30”, or “I want to create passive income so I can travel the world and be my own boss.” But, why? So we can show everyone that we matter? Why does the number have to be a million and why does everyone think they want to run their own business when most of us are barely executing at the jobs we have?
To me, that says what we really want is love. What we really want is stability. What we really want is to accept ourselves and stop taking score. We think we need to be multimillionaire somebodies to get those things, but the truth is that we DON’T.
We live in such a strange, equally amazing and terrible time. We’re living out the “keeping up with the Joneses” cliche x 1,000,000 because we can see right into everyone’s life through our screens. It’s hard not to get fucked up from that. I generally don’t care what other people think, but even I have a hard time blocking out everyone’s highlight reels.
People talk about “hating” social media, but we’re scrolling through our phones every second of the day, so I find that hard to believe. What I think we actually hate is how social media reminds us that some people have more than us or look better than us, or how much needless information we’re consuming and we hate that we can’t stop. As a result, we get obsessed with personal growth and self transformation because we can’t stop thinking there’s something wrong with us.
And honestly, I just want to say that YES, there’s something wrong with us, but also I want to say: SO WHAT? So what if we don’t have it all? So what if we feel anxious and weird? So what if we’re awkward or confused about what we want to do in life? So what if we’re uncomfortable with our shortcomings?
It’s an unpopular opinion, but not every feeling of inadequacy needs to be “solved”. Some things DO just happen. Some feelings DO just come and go. We don’t need to make a project of them. Sometimes things just suck, and you need to lower your expectations, and I mean that in the kindest, most optimistic, loving way possible. That’s what this month has solidified for me, and I feel a million times better because of it.