The Difference Between Being the Best and Trying Too Hard

emma watson

I am not a big fan of bluffing so I’m going to admit first hand that up until now it is still very difficult for myself to distinguish the thin line between being the best and trying too hard. I still have those constant “I wanna be like her” cravings here and there but I am getting better at shunning my inner try-hard self and focusing more on contentment and satisfaction.

You see, I was not born a rich woman and I still am currently very far from it. I was not born an heir of a company nor even a child of an executive. I was never the smartest girl in class, nor the prettiest, nor the most talented. I was middle-class, average, and fair to say- a mediocre. It seemed like the moment I was born, my parents knew that society would expect a lot from me in the future. They wanted me to be the best, and being the best for them is me being enrolled in countless music, dance, art, and defense classes. My parents never asked me what I wanted. What I wanted as a kid was to have a beautiful room and to acquire awesome toys, which ofcourse I could’ve gotten if my parents never enrolled me in those classes. Those expensive and gruelling lessons definitely paid-off when they enrolled me in a very costly private high school. By then I knew why they spent large sums of cash when I was younger. It was because they were going to spend larger sums of cash for me to be enrolled in a school meant for people that’s definitely not like me. But it was in that place where I sarted to realize the difference between being the best and trying too hard.

I am an honest person. I was never ashamed of my economical status even when I was the only one in class who never answered CEO, president, owner and race-car driver when asked about my parents. The school was fine, my subjects were okay, and my classmates were nice to me. What I couldn’t understand was my existence in a place not meant to be for me and why my parents were paying for this kind of education instead of having holidays in Greece or Hawaii. At first I thought that I would develop the sin of envy through my materialistic environment. I was wrong. What I craved the most was to be on the right level of environment I was supposed to be. And I believe because of that, I have refined a skill called “overdoing”.

I became a walking contradiction that even I myself was tired of it. I had two sets of friends in college- the friends that knows the simple me and the friends that knows I came from a private school. I’ve never hidden my identity to any of them, and so I believe both parties accepted the side of me that I am choosing to show them. I was happy eating overpriced bland salads and drinking imported expensive drinks, but at the same time I enjoyed eating corndogs and going to the park with my simple lovable friends. What I hated was the fact that I was always feeling guilty and little did I know that the try-hard me was consuming my soul. I would eat a 20-dollar salad and think, “Damn, why am I eating rabbit food? This is not me” but when I order a crispy fried chicken from KFC, my mind would contradict me saying, “This food is poison. Why are you eating this? Is this what you’ve become?” which usually ends up to an unnecessary life re-evaluation. I would hit the gym because my friends told me I look like I’m getting fat, but then I would devour buckets of food during Fridays because my other friends told me I look like a stick. At school I would try my very best to design floor plans I knew were the likings of my professor, even though as far as I’m concerned the design was the most disgusting thing I have ever seen. I would wear beautiful dresses during parties but act tactless throughout the night. I never knew who I wanted to be until an old friend of mine asked me the million-dollar question. He asked me to describe myself. I was astounded with the gravity and demand of that question. I didn’t know what to say so I answered the best lie I could think of. I told him that I am a person who could adjust depending on the person I am with. Lies, lies, lies! Then I realized that I had no identity. I was a living, walking mannequin of what society wanted me to be. I have lost the capacity to want something for myself and ended up showing what was wanted from me. 

I had an identity crisis and I didn’t know what caused it so I chose to isolate myself in order to dig deep within my inner soul. I was an empty vessel with no friends to tell me what to eat, where to go and what my hairdo would be like. I was raised to think that trying my best is possibly the greatest achievement I could do other than winning. The thing was I didn’t know whom should be the judge of my best self and how could I know if I’ve done my best already? And so with that I realized that I ended up pleasing people because of my capacity to do what they want rather than to please them with the things that I’ve already done. With further evaluation I questioned myself as to why am I even trying to please them in the first place? It’s not a matter of who would benefit who, rather a matter of who would be truly satisfied. If I refused to eat the 20-dollar salad they wanted me to eat, would it make them happy? Not really, but they wouldn’t mind it either. Would it make me happy? Definitely!  If I chose to eat organic food on a burger foodtrip, would it affect my friends? No. Would it make me happy? Yes! If I design a plan I find beautiful, would it aggravate my professor? If done right then why would he be aggravated? Instead of doing things that makes me happy, why not try doing things that satisfies me? I started doing yoga and running throughout the park every morning in order for me to eat the things I wanted and not to worry about getting unhealthy. I did everything in moderation and in a few weeks I felt more alive than I ever did all my life. I wasn’t having those random guilt-trips anymore, rather I was having moments I could definitely remember 10 or 20 years from now.

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11 thoughts on “The Difference Between Being the Best and Trying Too Hard

  1. This is one of the most insightful things I’ve read this week. It beautifully simple and makes sooo much sense! You are a great writer 🙂 looking forward to lots more…
    cheers and keep it up!

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