For almost eight years, I've been a writer. I write for the internet, for magazines, and for newspapers, and by September 2018 I'll also have written a book. Writing makes me happy and I still can't believe it gets to be my career. But about two years ago, it was a very different story.
At that point, I still gauged my success by what my friends were doing. If I wrote something I was proud of, I'd spend maybe about an hour psyched to share it ... before a friend's bigger and better byline, or job news, became a testament to my inability to do anything quite as cool.
I was fueled by competition and comparison. But I was sure that once I achieved that One Big Thing™ my career would look exactly the way I wanted it to and I'd never feel insecure or stressed again.
Which, obviously, never happened. As time went on, every goal became bigger and every achievement seemed less and less exciting. I worked all the time, I was resentful and jealous, and then I got sick from being so stressed out. Which defeated the point of being a writer in general, since those were my default moods when I worked in retail or at the bank.
And it was on me to get over myself.