By: Yethu Mtshali
A strong believer in the #DoYouBoo movement, I had to stop myself from shouting: “Don’t worry about me! Worry about yourself!” out of frustration recently. It would have been in response to someone’s poking: What are you doing this year? When are you graduating? Are you still writing? Are you still dating that guy? This may have been a concerned friend who wanted nothing more than an update on my entire existence. That didn’t make it less annoying though. I sensed undertones of I-wanna-see-if-I’m-ahead-of-you-in-life. What’s worse is when the prying comes from people I barely know.
When you’re so invested in someone else’s business, it leaves little time to mind your own. I recently learned how great it can be to spend time falling in love with myself. It sounds rather conceited but it saw me getting things done and becoming unrelenting when it comes to how I expect my friends (and the opposite sex) to treat me.
Think about how you treat someone you’re in love with. You would do almost anything to make them happy (I hope). You never want them to go a second without what they need. Why would treating yourself the same be bad? I’m also in the process of discarding anything which no longer serves me or brings me joy (and I’m not using the recycling bin). This includes bad attitudes, habits and people.
Look where you’re going!
Why do we invest so much time and energy into finding out what’s happening next door? How boring do our lives have to be? If you’re the pioneer which you believe you are, then why are you looking backwards or beside you? If you look backwards, that’s probably where you’ll end up going.
Competition can be healthy but it shouldn’t take anything away from your personal race. Clinical psychologist, Lisa Firestone claims that “our competitive feelings are an indication of what we want, and acknowledging what we want is key to getting to know ourselves”. Use what you see in others as motivation instead of another reason to gossip or hate.
I remember when we were kids and my cousin would keep peering over my shoulder to see if I was still eating my chocolate bar so she didn’t finish hers before I was done with mine. You probably did this too.
Kids. To that I say: Don’t worry about me! Worry about yourself! The girl running beside me on the treadmill at the gym who squints to check how much more she’s done than me: Don’t worry about me! Worry about yourself! And to everyone who spends more time comparing their lives to others than dedicating more time to bettering themselves… Don’t worry about us! Worry about yourself!