Saturday, June 27, 2009

Winter and underachievement

I met up with a friend from school today. It was hard to believe we have been out of school for almost nine years. If I look back on the months and years individually I have managed to fit plenty in, but I still feel like I'm eighteen on most days. I guess it's always a challenge to notice subtle changes in something you see every day.

We strolled and ate ice cream and drank coffee, and felt very smug about living in the tropics during winter. This is a photo of the water park near my house. It's on the waterfront, and is open and packed with children all year round.
Image by Hector Garcia

The council must have spent a packet doing up 5km of the beach front, but it is now one of the nicest in Australia. Because so many people use it, and always for recreation, it's a really happy social place. I think in our society often people are hesitant to greet and interact with people they don't know outside of the standard social I've-met-you-through-someone-I-know-and-therefore-you-are-prescreened-and-must-be-ok network. The beachfront precinct is a bit of an exception, and I really enjoy spending time there. Usually.

This time the company was excellent but, as is usual when people are catching up after a long time, the conversation inevitably turned to people we know and what they have been doing.

Now, I have been pretty successful in my life so far. I have a great job which I enjoy and perform well, I have a drop dead gorgeous, smart, funny husband, and a beautiful daughter. We are in a strong position financially. We have a nice couch and a big TV. I had a stellar education. I wouldn't change a single decision that I have made so far. Even the ones I regretted at the time taught me things I needed to know and led me to my current position.

But somehow.... when I start hearing that the girls from my school have dashed off to Harvard / Oxford / Cambridge / Yale, completed their postgrad work, and are now highly successful doctors / lawyers / writing for the New York Times / brokering peace deals, it is REALLY HARD to avoid feeling like a major underachiever.

There is only one solution - I need to go hang out at the local mall, compare myself to the food court trolls and boost my self esteem!


  1. Well, hello. Thanks for reading my blog, and commenting! I agree - hang out at the mall. It can be so hard not to compare ourselves to other women can't it? We all have different paths we follow, and yours is as valid and worthy as anyone else's (but we can feel like our paths aren't worthy sometimes. Especially when small people pee and spit up on us.)

    That was a lovely piece about the trolley boy. Glad he's working where you shop.

  2. nice article!

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