How to: Take Losing Un-like a Champ

Today is the most insecure I’ve felt in some time. I called my friends crying after I didn’t win more contests. I know. So unreasonable. I made the mistake of having an expectation that of course I would win, of course a presentation exposing shame–the most devastating of affects–would be recognized as important.

Because if it isn’t then the judges may as well be my parents, and the world too, and if the world is my parents I don’t want to participate in it. What a jump. I don’t even think it’s my best work; it’s not even a medium I’m invested in, talking about something without the inclusion of my experience, I just really thought that talking about something so important would automatically slot me higher than the rest. Science won.

Nobody cares about shame [I’m being dramatic], just stupid science [I don’t mean it, science, I like you a lot, please don’t take this seriously, I’m aware of the holes in my logic]. I usually don’t let myself have high expectations, cos it’s devastating to lose when you assume you’ll win, or to be rejected when you’re sure you’re worthy.

It’s not the same thing, I know. Shame is still important, my interpretation of it is valid, my experience is no less real without the awarding of a prize. And, if I’m being realistic, two creative pieces that are essentially about shame just won first place prizes. I wanted to win everything. I wanted to be better than everyone. I don’t feel good about it, but it’s true for me right now. I want my life to matter, and of course it does, I know, I just wanted all the validation. From strangers. Evaluating everyone on who knows what basis.

I wanted to meet their invisible standards. Not in real life. Just in the moment where it would win me praise. It was worse, too, because just before I found out Yarn Squid wasn’t chosen as a finalist for the “my best friend” essay, and I’m actually indignant and hypercritical. I have an extremely hard time believing anyone else’s essay [especially an essay literally named “my best friend” which is so… ugh. Just. Really?] about friendship could be more vulnerable, illustrative of a depth of acceptance, understanding, and growth. I do not believe it’s possible anyone could have turned in a more potent essay.

Fuck that loss. To be fair I have read none of the other essays, I’m being super irrational, and I know. I feel like I have to defend my friendship’s honor. I just have yet to meet anyone who has a better friend, we deserve the friendship prize, dammit!

Thankfully, I really did win the friendship prize, in that I have some of the most supportive, gentle, and loving friends a person could ask for. They’re available, and they listen, and they are honest. They trust me not to hate them for telling the truth, and I fucking love them for it. I’m not always the “best”, and I know, and it’s fine.

I don’t need to be the best at shit except being myself, and myself is complicated. And wicked hungry right now. Maybe God’s trying to remind me humbleness exists. It’s not even remotely realistic for me to win everything, I know, and my chosen field is full of rejection, I’m glad I’m resilient from all that shame I talk about so fucking much.

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2 thoughts on “How to: Take Losing Un-like a Champ

  1. All of your feelings are understandable. You ARE a winner though, and like you said, in more of a sense than just winning awards and scholarships. And hey, there will be plenty more opportunities for those as well! Your hard work will get you far. I, and many others, truly enjoy your work. Life is one big fucking contest, dude, and sometimes even the best lose.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I don’t like feeling critical, though.. other people deserve recognition, too, I don’t like feeling angry at them and jealous. I don’t want to think of life as a contest, contests stress me out now. I just want to make something and be someone I’m proud of, that’s enough. I want the same for everyone else, too, even if sometimes I irrationally hate them.

      Liked by 1 person

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