creating feminism

When faced with competition

March 6, 2019

I have been working towards a slow life for some time now but untangling the Self from the faster/better/moremoremore mindset of our culture has been a long slog. Yesterday I read of two artists I know who have achieved well deserved success. My first thoughts were genuinely, ‘how wonderful for them’; my second thoughts were ‘oh fuck I do not do enough, I am such a loser’. I am admitting this to you as much as myself because this is real progress: I can hear this voice and feel this panic, but they do not control me, these days I can acknowledge their existence then cut them free. Ten years ago I would have told you I do not compete with other women and although I believed that to be true, I know now it wasn’t. Five years ago I would have told you that I don’t understand why other women are competitive when I’m not. I was moving towards understanding but still had a long way to go as I was quite clearly projecting. Today I can celebrate the achievements of other women and also acknowledge my own feelings of inferiority so that they don’t transform into the shadow monsters of negative competitive thoughts or behaviour. This change has come through truly grounding in my artistic practice. This is not about being better or worse / doing more or less than somebody else, it’s about my own creative journey. Some people may have already been here, some may never stop at this place; it is all irrelevant, what matters is that I am working on this novel, on these words, on improving the writing, on striving to wrestle these ideas onto the page in a way that is authentic and meaningful to me. I am letting go of the struggle to compete or even to be understood by others because, finally, I am on the road to self-understanding and once that’s nailed the rest is a doddle 🙈 📷 @andyrgarside 💙 #poetlife

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