Confidence and Competition

A long time ago (which was really only about a decade ago), there was nothing in the world I wanted to be more than the editor in chief of a glossy fashion magazine. I lived and breathed trends and clothing construction; I took it upon myself to learn everything I could about how to craft magazines, create compelling editorial, sell ads, and how clothing is conceptualized, designed, manufactured and marketed. It was my everything.

Round about my junior year in college, I thought long and hard about taking a summer to go to New York and interning at Hearst, ideally at Harper’s Bazaar. I knew I wasn’t going to get anywhere without an internship. I knew that I was a shoo-in, too, with my knowledge, my dedication, and (let’s be honest here) the fact that I was a tall, willowy 19 year old.

But that summer, I also knew that my bank account was at a painful low, New York City was more expensive than Boston, the internship was unpaid, and I couldn’t afford to take out any more student loans. That summer, I decided not to pursue my internship, took a job selling clothes instead, and finished a full semester’s worth of courses at Emerson at a discounted rate so I could graduate early and not go further in to debt.

I have pretty much never had a goal or concrete dream since then.

I know that sounds silly, but yes– 10 years ago, I lost all my drive. I’ve worked and I’ve woken up every day, and I’ve tried to climb the corporate ladder and I’ve started new projects, but let me be perfectly honest: I don’t give much of a shit. I have no desire to fight tooth and nail to be a popular blogger. I have no desire to be in a competitive job. When the going gets tough, I stop fighting. There’s nothing I want enough to fight for.

I have zero competitive drive, and I can’t tell if that’s because of things like depression, or if it’s because I’ve hit a supernatural sense of zen once the one thing I wanted was out of my reach. How on earth do you wake up in the morning and fight fight fight for something you don’t give a damn about?

I suppose I should acknowledge that at 28, I’m far from dead and there’s still plenty of time to do what I love and all that. Logically, I know it’s true. But logically, I also know that’s a lie.

How on earth do you keep your fired burning when everything is just smoke and mirrors?

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