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Why it's good not to be "the best"

[this started out in one direction, and veered off in a completely different one. The title doesn't really fit, but I can't figure out what to change it to. Right now I'm not entirely sure what it says. *shrug* Have some stream of consciousness, y'all.]

I have grown the most, and found the most freedom, at the points in life where I was challenged by discovering that some core part of my identity was "threatened" by external factor. Not because it made me more competitive; that's generally a bad track for me, full of anxiety, insecurity and defensiveness. It's when I'm able to let go of that competitiveness that I'm most able to be myself, and enjoy what I am, not where I rank. In fact, it was this thought that crossed my mind in relation to another post and prompted my current writing:

"I think it's worth noting that I'm naturally a pretty competitive Type-A personality, and have intentionally made myself more Type-B because I like better who I am that way. I'm so cooperative because I don't like what comes out when I'm competitive."

Of my community affiliations, my neo-hippie roots are those I've probably talked about the least, but which influence my life on the deepest level, in concert with my experiences growing up shaped by the philosophies of liberal christianity, which certainly has pretty "love, peace, and understanding" elements, despite some of my other discomforts with it. When I say I'm a damned hippie, it's generally half tongue-in-cheek, half serious statement about how I prioritize cooperation over competition, a certain type of idealism, a specific set of values about how I choose to interact with the people in my spheres and the world around me. It's everything to do with the path and shape of my life. I decided long, long ago that prioritizing family over career was the right choice for me. It just doesn't look much like that does for many people who make that same choice. My most fundamental decisions about where I live, how I live, where I work, are absolutely about that. I move or stay, for family and friends. I maintain a certain kind of household space, for family, friends, and wandering strangers. I work a job that's low enough on the totem pole to be pretty invisible, to give me greater personal freedom and time/energy for social interactions. I like the life that's given me. I like it a lot. I've hit some hellaciously rough times, times when I was uncertain of even that in my life, and no doubt could be more destabilizing for me, but the force of that network in my life has always ultimately saved me. I'm pretty spatial in a lot of my thinking, so concepts in my head often become abstract shapes in relation to each other. My internal self-perception of myself is never as a truly discrete unit, but deeply embedded in a web of connections, each strand a different length and resiliency. It's highly organic and constantly shifting, but the end result is incredible support.

Ending rambling here, for no particular reason except that it's late and I want a hot shower.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
brujah
May. 21st, 2015 02:06 pm (UTC)
My brain is currently mush, so I can't manage a proper reply to your entries despite wanting to, but I wanted to tell you that it is absolutely awesome to see text on my friends' list. Deep, meaningful, lovely, thought-provoking text.
moominmuppet
Jun. 1st, 2015 04:14 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you!
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