Yesterday’s kickoff was interesting. It’s not every day you find you are presented on a display board like the world’s weirdest science project for the whole city to see, and the mayor points you out in a crowd. Being put in the spotlight was terrifying, and also exhilarating. It all feels very real now, and the pressure to succeed is far more overwhelming than I imagined it would be. My first order of business this morning was to wake up and run to the gym (ok, I drove the gym. But I ran when I got there. For FIVE WHOLE MINUTES, guys).
So, it turns out, I care what you think of me. It matters if you think I’m mean, or lazy, or a bad person. I can’t bear the thought of disappointing you, of making you ashamed to know me.
We spend so much time pretending we don’t care what other people think, while trying in silent desperation to impress them– to show everyone that we’re good, we matter, we’re somebody worth knowing. Maybe some of us try too hard. I know sometimes we care too much about what others think. More often, the “others” we are trying to impress are the wrong ones.
I can’t pretend anymore. I’m not so cool and aloof that your opinion doesn’t affect me. In fact, I’m counting on it. I’ve tried a lot of things to motivate myself in the past, but I’ve always kept the struggle close like some sort of dirty secret, and I think that has always been one of the sources of my repeated failures (although I think I will start calling them “practice runs” instead of failures. Sounds so much less…failure-y).
So, I admit it– I’m using you. I’m counting so much on caring about your opinion that I make sure I push myself, just to impress you. I’m so horrified that you think I’m slacking off that I will dig deeper than I ever do when I only have myself to answer to.
I’m trying the one thing I’ve never tried– Looking around and saying, “Hey guys, you know that thing about how I’m fat? I’m totally going to do something about that! Check it out!”
I hope you can forgive me for using you (although I know some of you might like that sort of thing). I also hope you can let it slide that maybe I’ve played it too cool, and kept some secrets. I just want to make you proud.