I remember being told once, or hearing it said to someone once, “don’t worry if you are not the best. You are the best you, you can be”. I don’t remember the effect it had on me, but I do know as I think on this today. It sucks. I don’t want to be the best me, I don’t like me (that’s why I am always trying to change myself). I want to be the best. I’m not.
I’m not the best at anything, I mean nothing in the world that has any value whatsoever. I really mean nothing in the world, but some nimrod (love that word) will read this and say, “but you are the only you and thus the best at that”. I don’t care about being the best at something that has no meaning. I am probably the best right handed blog poster named Dave Horrocks, who is currently blogging barefooted wearing a points of view t-shirt also. I don’t care. Why? Because it is meaningless. Unless there is competition for something, who cares.
I watch things like the Olympics when it is mano-a-mano, and often am close to tears at watching that moment when the person on the podium realizes they have done it, in that moment, and perhaps never again in their lives, they are the best in the world at something. I can only vaguely imagine that moment, since as I have said, I am not the best at anything.
You know what sucks more than that though? Realizing you are the worst at something, perhaps not the worst in the world, but the worst in a given set of circumstances. I was playing ball hockey with some friends last night and I realized fairly early on, that I am the worst of this group at this game. Not that it was close competition to be the worst, I sucked. Everyone playing could see it, though no one pointed it out to me. That’s how bad I was/am at ball hockey, no trash talk at me at all. I have harbored this vague thought that perhaps if I keep going I can improve and at the very least, not be the worst player out there. That thought faded as the game went on. Nope, never gonna be better than these guys. Now I could just get more people to play and maybe be better than the new people, but there is no satisfaction in that.
I hope you get that I am using ball hockey as a metaphor for every single area of my life. Whether it is my job, my kids, my wife, my coworkers, my friends, all of it. There is somebody better than me at every facet of my life. Don’t get me wrong, my wife doesn’t have another husband with which to compare my performance, thank God. It is still clear that there are better husbands around, I see them doing nice things for their wives. Treating them well, helping with everything. I am not one of those guys. I see those guys and think, “stop it, you are making me look bad…well, worse.” They don’t stop, and I can’t help but compare.
This all leaves me with this vague feeling of unease, is there more I can do? Should I stop playing ball hockey (yep, metaphor again)? Should I stop comparing and take joy in playing? Yes, that last one sounds right, but I bet that is harder than it sounds, at least for me, but I am willing to give it a go, take swing at just being with my friends and sucking at ball hockey. I read an article once that talked about how in our society we tend to only want people who are good at things to do them, so if you aren’t a good singer, you shouldn’t sing, reality TV hasn’t helped with that. The article suggested that if you enjoy something, even if you aren’t good at it, you should do it, just don’t be fooled about your proficiency. So I will play ball hockey and enjoy it, even if I am the worst out there.
Let’s see how that goes. I’ll keep you posted.