Nearly every single night when I take myself off to bed, I end up lying there for forever just thinking about all the things I could do to make this blog better, to make my life better, to make me better.
I compare myself to other people – and sometimes, after a heavy Instagram social media stalking session – this brings me down and makes me feel inadequate, and sometimes, when I’m feeling OK with myself, it works as inspiration and motivation. I look at other bloggers’ lives and I think about how much I want the exciting things they have – the trips to Disneyworld (looking at you, you Gleam babes), the photoshoots with major beauty brands and the clothes and the parties. I want it all.
I know I have more than most, I’ve worked pretty bloody hard and cried a lot and had no money left in my overdraft a lot to get to where I am now, and I know a lot of you guys look at where I am in my life and think FUCK, I WANT WHAT HANNAH’S GOT, and sometimes, when I’m feeling emotional, I think that too – I think hang on, how did I get here? No but seriously, how did I make it to this place in my life at 25? Like, wait, WHAT? HOW? Because I know I’m lucky, I know I am in some respects – a success.
But my level of success isn’t enough for me, I’m greedy and I want more. I want the world, I want everything. All of it.
I want to be Zoella, except with less Ghostwriting and more boobs and bum.
I want to be Liz Jones without the anorexia and Daily Mail-ness.
But why? Why do I have to keep going on some weird quest for power and money and compliments and admiration? Why can’t I just be content with where I am now?
I’m sure this isn’t just me. Or, I hope it’s not and that I don’t come across as a massive dick. But we, or I, am obsessed with reaching our full potential, with pushing ourselves to our outer limit, of winning every competition in life. We want to be the very best version of ourselves that we can, but when do we pull back?
My blog is churning away nicely as is at the moment, my subscribers and social media followers are going up daily, my figures are strong and I’m getting new emails with work opportunities nearly every single day – that’s incredible, that’s insane and that’s more than I’d ever hoped my blog would be. And yet, rather than be all ‘ahh, time to kick back and just keep on doing what I’m doing’, I’m constantly looking at where improvements could be made.
Should I change the design? Should I buy a special vlogging camera? Should I get Photoshop? Should I learn video editing? Should I pay for Facebook marketing? Should I contact stores about borrowing clothes for shoots? Should I do a photography course? Should I head into London for every product launch invite I get?
It’s exhausting trying to win the world. I wish that I believed that I, and my blog, were enough as is. That I wasn’t constantly seeking more, constantly seeking perfection.
People often tell me they can’t believe how together I am for 25, and maybe it’s my obsession with outdoing myself that makes me this ‘together’. I left university three and a half years ago and have been an editor across major global fashion brands, have a blog that brings in tens of thousands of views a day, and have a pretty ace life complete with slightly-beardy boyfriend, cat and IKEA furniture. That’s pretty good going, right? I should be hella proud, we should all be hella proud.
We should all spend more time reminding ourselves of our achievements, no matter how big or small, and less time focusing on how to secure the next achievement. Because yeah, achieving your dreams feels fucking fantastic, but the novelty soon wears off and you end up pining for the next dream to come true.
It’s like with money, when I got a £25k a year job I literally thought I was going to be rolling around in money and Topshop clothes and full-price cocktails – and now? I’m not even sure I could survive on that because how the flip would I pay for all my lattes and city breaks and furniture hauls that I’ve become accustomed to?
The point being, we always live to our means. We always get used to what we have and pine for more. I could be voted the world’s best blogger and yet I’d still feel like there was more that I could do, more achivements I could tick off my list, more countires I could visit, more I could squeeze into my day.
It’s hard to face up to the reality that we will never have everything we want. I probably won’t have a walk in closet, or be a size 8 or live close to my friends again, but that’s OK, it’s all OK because we are good enough as we are right now.
We are more than good enough, and sometimes we need to remind ourselves we don’t have to be pushing ourselves to our limits all the time. Life is too short to focus on everything we don’t have and exhaust ourselves on the journey to having EVERYTHING.
We grew up with the notion that nothing is ever perfect but also that there is ‘always room for improvement’ and so I spend far too much time concentrating on the improvement, looking for ways to make my life look even more Pinterest-worthy, more ways to make my parents proud, more ways to make my friends envious, more ways to have people like me because I’m obsessed with being the best.
And when I can’t be the best? It kills me. Sure there are things like sports and chemistry and diet motivation that I know I will never have, I don’t even try and compete because I can accept that I can’t be the best at all things – I have restrictions. But when it comes to blogging and writing and holidaying and having a home and being a cat mother and being a girlfriend, I want to win, I want to score 11 out of 10.
And sometimes we need to remember there is no 11 out of 10. We can hit 10, heck we can hit 9 and be proud of ourselves. There will always be someone better than you but there will also always be people a lot worse than you.
Life isn’t about racing to be the winner, heck it isn’t even about success or winning or competing, it’s about living. It’s about doing what makes you happy, rather than what makes you sound better on paper.
Don’t stop dreaming, but don’t spend so much time working to achieve your dreams that you forget to appreciate every day as is. Because life is pretty bloody grand whether or not you get the promotion or the big wedding or win the award or have a baby by 30. Remember that.