Being the baby of the family should be a pretty sweet gig. You get whatever you want. No one can pick on you. They can but they get in trouble and you don’t. You are made to feel like the most important and awesome person in the world.
From birth, I was made of gold and existed at the center of the very universe itself. I was a most unique and special creature.
Since I was the baby, I was suffocated well into, well, sometimes now. I was my mother’s baby in particular. When asked a question someone would answer for me. When I went on a field trip, my mother chaperoned. When kids picked on me, my mother like a big mama bear came to school to make sure I was never picked on again. I could do no wrong.
My family was fiercely protective of me. How could this little helpless dainty child take care of herself? I need to be taken care of! I’m the baby!
I was made to feel like I was the best thing ever. I was the cutest and the sweetest. The smartest and most talented.
Even though I wasn’t allowed to do much outside of home and school, I could do anything I wanted to do. The sky was the limit.
When everyone treated me like I was precious, I truly thought I was special. I thought I was meant for something great. Me and me alone. Like some fabled hero—half Greek god, half human—whose destiny is written in the stars. Those special few that make it into the history books. I was to be one of those people. I was supposed to be the greatest, most awesome human being ever!
I didn’t have to try too hard to be great. I was already great. I didn’t have to work very hard for that applause. The clapping and praise started before I even opened my mouth to sing or put pencil to paper.
As some could imagine it is a huge let down to realize I’m not the greatest talent ever. I actually have to put in the hard work to be. I have to practice. I have to study.
But-but-but I thought I was already the best? Nope.
I had to face the fact that there are tons of people out there that put my work to shame. It is an unsettling feeling when everything I put an effort into fell short of what I thought I could already do.
I have picked up a lot of interests along the way in life. All of which exists in the creative realm. I’m okay at some and better at others. I have a knack for the ones that I’m better at but I could sum all those ventures up into one word: Meh.
I had always wanted to be a prima ballet and taking ballet lessons was disappointing. By then I was 19 years old and what the hell was the point? What for the exercise? Pffft!
I really can’t sing (Terrible, terrible singing voice by the way). I’m too much of a damn nervous introvert to be a great actor. It takes a lot of equipment and resources to become a better than a mediocre filmmaker. As well as having the drive to come up with consistent projects. This also goes for continuously creating artwork.
It is a frustrating existence to have high standards for myself. An ungodly height I haven’t reached nor will I ever.
I fall short of my goals and standards. Every day I fail. I haven’t fulfilled my great epic destiny yet. No crown earned by pulling a sword out of a stone. No bestowing of godlike status for completing great trials.
Everything is out of my reach. I’ve placed it across the sky at a staggering height. I have it all there, idealistic and perfect. Then as I start my ascension to grab hold of something, my insecurities undermine my efforts.
With my shaky attempt, I don’t even come close to clasping on. My fingers slip on nothingness and I usually fall back to Earth with a loud, sickening thud. Each time though I’m never surprised.
I feel great betrayal when I’ve been told for over half of my life that I’m so great and I could do everything and anything. I tried (and maybe still trying) to do it all. That’s the thing, though, a person has to start with something and maybe more will fall into place. BUT very few people can have a thousand spinning plates and keep ’em all spinning.
Juggling too many projects at once, something is bound to fail.
Yet the most disappointing part of my story is that I don’t stretch myself thin. Thinking I could do everything and anything, I couldn’t decide on one thing to start with. I really don’t have all my plates spinning, if any. As I’ve aged I knew I had to go after something—anything! But I’ve been so confused about what to put my heart into that I put my heart into nothing.
Like I stated earlier, I made some effort with all my interests but couldn’t put my all into them. I can’t seem to put everything that I have into something and then fight tooth and nail in achieving it.
I lay awake at night just thinking about all the things I want to pursue but lack the discipline in doing so.
I’ve been drawing since age 2 and writing stories since age 5. Drawing cartoons and especially writing are the only things that have stayed consistent interests. Dare I say, passions? Even with writing being of the greatest interest to me, it is still something I fight with every day to do. I don’t do it every day. I try. For me, it’s still hard work to put in the hard work.
When it comes to my writing I should already be great at it. I should have already been a successful published author. One of my books should have been made it a movie by now!
Here I am, almost 30 years old and I’ve barely shared any of my work. And that was only in several short-lived classes that I eventually dropped. I lack drive and motivation. I lack a deep hunger for achieving a dream and reaching a goal. I lack something that I can’t explain and this only adds to my frustrations.
I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to start and how to pursue. I’m still feeling my way through the dark and still on shaky legs finding my footing. I panic with each birthday that passes.
My identity has been determined by where I fall in the birth order of my siblings. I hold a special place in my family because I’m the youngest. But I feel this is where my specialness ends. Where do I fit in with the rest of the world?
I’m a grown up baby, so now what?