Many of us are no better than this puppy. Many of us spend our whole lives chasing tails… but not ours- everyone else’s.
It didn’t hit me until this summer after we had all graduated and gone our separate ways. I had been with those boys since the seventh grade. We’d performed side-by-side in countless musicals, plays, and choir concerts. It had always been the four of us. Because I was the girl of the group, I was the one who had to fight the adversity of our choir and drama directors to prove that I was just as good as the boys, even though everyone knew it. I always felt like I was chasing their tails since they consistently got the accolades to “prove” how good they are. And then I realized that maybe, this whole time that I felt I was chasing them, they actually felt that they were chasing me. At the final choir concert, it was quite evident that I walked away with the most awards out of anyone. The boys knew it. And it wasn’t until a summer day long after we’d said our good-byes that I was thinking it all over that it became clear that, not only do the awards not really even matter anymore, but that as I was “chasing them,” they, in turn, actually were chasing me.
I share this with you because upon reflecting on this entire experience, this memory, if you will, I realized something about humanity. And that is that most of us spend our time just chasing other people’s tails. Instead of realizing our wonderful gifts and talents, we have to go and compare them with others’ and turn everything into a competition where we must be the best. Not only that, but it is all merely based off of perspective. So deeply is it ingrained that “the grass is greener on the other side.” The logical part of us knows that this, of course, is false, but for some foolish reason, we still continue to live by it.
I’m not one to say that I’d like to do parts of my life over. I believe that everything, good and bad, that happens to us makes us who we are today, and altering even the tiniest of moments could change that. But while reflecting over all of this, I recently thought of how I would do those six years over differently if I had to. How I would not let the choir teacher and drama director push me like they did. How I would not worry about how the boys were doing because I was doing just as well. How I would get it through my head that I had plenty of people (including the boys) who love and support me regardless of whether or not I have the lead in the musical to show for my talent. But that’s me looking back on those six years, a wiser young woman who has learned from living through them. Needless to say, I came out of it the person I was meant to be.
As I look forward to these next four years of my life, I promise myself that I will not let other people’s accomplishments get in the way of my growth. I spent six years being intimidated and pushed down by people who both wanted and did not want me to succeed, but that is all over now.
Chasing tails is for dogs. You don’t see us sniffing butts, do you?