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Why Do I Spend So Much Time Thinking About the Things I Can't Do?


There are some moments in my life where I realize that I'm fairly self-aware. Well, sometimes. I tend to ignore certain warning signs or red flags when it comes to myself, but from time to time I can get a little introspective too! I wouldn't say that I completely lack self-confidence, but it tends to be laced in with heaps of self-deprecation and sometimes it's difficult to separate what is real versus what I've lumped under my "fake it 'til you make it" mentality. My headspace is basically a continuous and ever-changing Escape Room, something surely to keep me on my toes for the rest of eternity.

Sometimes I have these posts planned for weeks and have 'em penciled into my blogging agenda, waiting for the day when I write them. Then sometimes I'm just sitting at my desk with a notebook open while I explore the internet casually, just in case something stands out to me and could be transformed into a stream of consciousness blog post. This one stemmed from two things. The first is super simple. I'm sure I was scrolling through Pinterest and saw something–maybe some baked good, maybe a cool sketch, maybe something else entirely–and kept thinking "I wish I could do that." And then I realized that this thought goes through my heard fairly often, even when I don't realize it. 

I can't pull that off. I can't work entirely off of Excel sheets. I can't do interviews. I can't write like so and so writes. I can't figure this out. 

It's a cycle of things that I can't do rather than the list of things I'm not only fully capable of doing, but am good at doing. And then the second thing was Harry Styles' old Things I Can and Things I Can't tattoos on the inside of his wrists. That part really doesn't have to do with much, it's just been a while since I've mentioned Harry Styles in a blog post. 


It's a slippery slope when you start to travel down the path of the "can't" portion of your skillset. Even when logically, being skilled in every single possible thing in this world is impossible, there's something about it that still pisses me off a bit. It's like I want to be good at everything just for the sake of being good at everything, not because I'm actually slightly interested in it. I constantly battle with myself on wanting to already know everything automatically and wanting to learn organically. I didn't hate school because I hated learning, I just didn't like being in control of what I was learning, which I feel like is a pretty common feeling with higher education. I like to learn and me not knowing things at 23 just means I have more time to expand my knowledge. I don't need to know everything or be everything right now. It's setting myself up for failure, really.

When you live in a big city or surround yourself with talented people or even have people around you who are judgmental, there's a comparison game that comes out and picks at you from the inside out. You can ignore it, for sure, but sometimes it just comes at you when you're feeling a little weak. It's not a nice feeling, but it's something that you can shake if you, at your core, have the right mentality. 


So, maybe I'm not a math whiz. Maybe I can't cook and naively pin things on Pinterest aspirationally just because I can. Maybe I can't create elaborate things on Adobe programs that cost an arm and a leg without student pricing. Sometimes it's easier to pinpoint the things that aren't in your current skill set (who knows where time may lead you and what it can teach you!). Just now I was trying to think of things I can do and my brain went blank but writing those three things I couldn't do took a split second to formulate. It's a hard knock life when your deep-rooted teenage insecurities really latch on to you and still stick around in your young-adulthood!

I know what I can do and who I am. I know I'm intelligent, maybe not in the way that people traditionally see intelligence (i.e. math, science, some real Big Bang Theory kind of shit)(side-note: that show sucks, I hate that I just mentioned it). I'm talented in my own way and right. Conveying this to everyone is impossible. It shines through with some, but there are others who are going to turn their backs and pretend that what I do or what you do is inconsequential. That's fine, everyone has a right to their own opinions. But the things I can't do shouldn't outweigh the things I can do. We're always learning and evolving. If I was in my final "stage" at age 23 then what the hell is the point? I'm not supposed to know everything or be everything right now. If I can't do it now, maybe I'll do it in five years and I was fixating on something that didn't really even matter all along. 

Except for math. Fuck math, I can't do that.


Sweater: Bershka
Jeans: Levi's 
Coat: Primark
Boots: Steve Madden
Hat: The Wandering Wardrobe
Sunglasses: Forever 21

Photos by Austen Tosone

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