In high school, I came up with what I have called my “Rule of One”.
Growing up, I was told I was ugly, stupid and fat among many other things and in many different ways. I have experienced a myriad of other people’s cruelty over the years but I will address that in an upcoming post about why you should not “own other people’s shit!”
Was how I was greeted by someone my parents played slo-pitch with although there were several other incidents in my life that made me feel unattractive. I knew I would not grow up to be a model but in looking at them, I realized the impact Hollywood has on defining what “beauty” is. Where one person finds beauty another may not. With that, I came to realize there are people who are more attractive as well as people who are less attractive than me.
Don’t you know how to read a g’damn textbook?!
Was how my Grade 10 Math teacher would respond when I did not understand and ask for help. Up to about Grade 10, I was an “A” and “B” student. By the time I made it to Grade 11, my grades had dropped to “C”s and I ended up doing a second year of Grade 12 because I was one credit short of graduation. While I would barely pass any academic courses, I would still achieve A’s in my Foods and Nutrition, Band and tutoring Science 9 classes. It was not until college (where I graduated at the top of my class) that I realized we all had different subjects in which we were “smart” and not so “smart” in. In either situation, I was not the best nor the worst in any given subject because there was always one person smarter than me and one person who was not.
Yelled from a very drunk guy late one night whose friend was kind enough to pull over his van so he could open the door to yell this at me. As if I did not already know I was overweight (not sure if this made him smarter or dumber but I digress). It was not until my mid-20’s that I realized we do not all look like the models in the magazines and that we all come in different shapes and sizes. And guess what, there is at least one person out there who weighs one pound heavier and at least one person weighs one pound lighter than me.
Regardless of the scenario, there is at least one person in the world who is better and at least one person who is not at any given thing. Thinking about this seems silly but it was the foundation on which I began rebuilding myself in knowing that I was not the best or the worst at any given thing.
My “Rule of One” was the foundation for rebuilding my sense of self, self esteem and my self confidence. Knowing that I was not the “worst” in so many things and that there are people who have the same challenges (and in some cases, worse and/or more), increases the gratitude I have for who I am, where I am at and what I have in my life.
If my “Rule of One” resonates with you, how does it make you feel? Has a little bit of weight lifted off of your shoulders? Do you believe in perfection? Or is it just an illusion and/or something to strive for?