I have a small circle of writing moms that I walk with from time to time. One writes and illustrates children’s books, one does young adult fiction and then there’s me. I guess I’m a bloggy adult non-fiction Christian memoir life-inspiration? Can that be a category?
We usually see each other when we’re all free for a walk in the park. We do laps around the lake and try to keep our kids happy so we can chat. Which is a struggle consider that between we have 5 of them ages three and under.
We really have a lot in common, we three moms, trying to do our writing, painting, mothering thing with precious little time, usually exhausted with cheerios and hot wheels underfoot.
I remember one specific stroll, maybe while we were walking past the ducks or playing musical seats with the kids… (stroller to wagon to stroller to walking to wagon) when one of us said:
“Some days I read my stuff and go… I’m such a hack!”
Isn’t that the truth across the board? Somedays you look around and just think “There’s no way I’m good at this, I suck.”
Some days we all, no matter who we are, man, woman, artist, mother, writer, doctor, pastor, deli clerk, shoe salesman, teacher, we all feel like we suck at what we do.
Somedays we all feel like everyone else is excelling while we are wallowing in self pity and suck-itude. (totally a word)
But guess what? There is not a single person out there that is fulfilling God’s call that can be qualified as a hack! No not one, no not one.
Dear one, I know how tempting it is to look around at your peers, those who have bigger numbers, have published more articles or books, seem to have a happier family or have better test scores and instantly feel inadequate. Like a total hack.
But you’re not.
Success goes in seasons and on top of that we measure it all wrong.
If you’re pouring yourself into your passion, loving your people well, living your call and doing your darndest to use your talents to bring heaven to earth then you sweet friend, you’re KILLING IT! You are a success.
You are amazing
You are pleasing OUR FATHER and all his angels to no end.
And since I need encouragement too, So am I.
We aren’t hacks, not even close.
The other guy is being used one way, and us, you and me? We’re being used another way. We have our tribes, our people. You have your students, your children, or the people who love the way you slice prosciutto. I have you guys, my readers, the people who benefit from whatever it is God calls me to write in this space.
We aren’t hacks, ever. Not ever, not today, not tomorrow and certainly not yesterday when we laid around in our yoga pants and ate a pint of Ben n Jerry’s (some people I know did that… I did that… and actually it was a brick of frozen baking chocolate… classy)
My favorite Hymn “Be Thou My Vision” has a line that I’ve been singing a lot this week: “Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise. Thou my inheritance now and always.”
The original text of this hymn goes all the way back to the 6th century. This problem of feeling like a hack and desiring the wrong version of success is not a new one.
This comparison, ranking, feeling like an inadequate hack thing is just part of the human struggle. I’ve learned that those you compare yourself too feel the same way you do.
Theodore Roosevelt said it best when he said:
“Comparison is the thief of Joy.”
It is, and we gotta dial it down to 0.
Follow your call, live your passion, love your tribe, be faithful, serve, love, write, teach, slice expensive deli meat, heal the sick, file the paperwork.
You’re not a hack, you’re friggin lovely, your heart is beautiful.