[The following is a guest post contributed by Austin Marshall, the lead in SXSW showcasing film Blacktino. He is a friend.]
Right in the middle of my first week of school, I realized something important about myself that I never seriously thought about before: I can be very hard on myself. I am constantly comparing myself to others, and my accomplishments to others. I never give myself as much praise as I should. And I do deserve more praise than I give myself; I’ve accomplished a lot and experienced more in my 17 years than most kids my age. Sometimes I think I’m having a half quarter life crisis, but really I’m just having a bad bout of insecurity.
Perhaps I feel like I’m not living up to the exceptionally high standards I set for myself, or that I’m failing in proving myself and set myself apart from others my age. But I can also feel that way socially and Facebook has done a great job of making me feel worse about my social life. It never fails that I can log on every night and see all of my peers having tons of fun doing whatever! Whether it’s at last Friday’s party or a small dinner party at a sushi bar, it is tried and true that I will log off feeling inferior to my peers.
Really, I’m just jealous that I’m not living life like all of my other peers. But I realize that it is nobody’s problem but my own. It’s very easy for me to be bitter and be a hater towards everyone else who’s having fun and doing whatever they want, because I could very easily be doing the same thing. Instead, I choose to sulk in my room each and every Friday and Saturday night, wishing I was out doing something. I choose to not be a bit more outgoing and seek out opportunities to do fun things, meet new people, and make new connections. There really aren’t any roadblocks preventing me from doing what I want, it’s just me. Chances are, if I continue through my senior year with this sour attitude, I’ll go to college with it and go out into the real world with it. I would hate to be in my thirties, not living a fun and exciting life, just because I chose not to.
So, I’ve made up my mind to get rid of all self-pity in my daily life! I am in direct control of my happiness, and I have the power to turn things around if I wish or to keep things the same. I choose to be content with who I am and happy and proud of everything I’ve done. I choose to work hard to make sure that everything I want, I can make a reality. I choose to be more proactive socially; to have more fun and excitement in my life, but also make all types of connections with different people. Most importantly, I choose to give myself a reality check every once in a while to put everything in perspective.