You Don’t Have To Be Your Best Self All The Time

I just got off a phone call with my therapist. A phone call, yes, because I’m sick with a cold —  a cold I got from kissing a boy who had a cold. Yep, I literally played myself. 

I was telling my therapist about my lack of motivation. The lack of motivation to work hard, to decide on grad school, to literally get out of bed. To stop hitting snooze for two hours. To not read another chapter of a book when it’s late at night. The biggest things and the most minute things. 

Today, I’ve been in my bed literally all day except to walk my dog. I haven’t brushed my teeth or washed my face. I feel like a lazy piece of shit. “This isn’t the best version of myself,” I let myself think. 

Can we pause here? 

I have a fucking cold. I am sick. And instead of allowing myself to rest, I’m comparing myself to a strong, healthy person. I’m so tired of this bullshit. 

I realized that for months, maybe years, I’ve been comparing myself to all the people who are hustling and hitting crazy goals. I’m in Facebook groups and following people on Insta who have lost 150 pounds, run marathons for the first time, left abusive partners. And I’m over here like… a potato. 

Correction: A PERSON WITH A COLD. 

I’m comparing myself to people who I know nothing about — not their motivation nor their struggles. I think to myself how lame I am for not hitting their goals. And honestly, this kind of comparison is so absurd that it’s laughable. I’m comparing my goals to other people’s goals. I am a different person, with different goals and motivations and challenges. There are people comparing themselves to body types, to clear skin, to followers. I have a mental illness, and I’m comparing myself to… goals.

“Berkeley, you don’t have to be your best self all the time,” my therapist reminded me, pulling me out of my spiral. 

I paused. I had my “aha” moment. It’s obvious, but I get it. I don’t have to be my best self today, with my kissing-a-boy-cold. I don’t have to be my best self when my depression is spiraling and my motivation is lost. The truth is, I can’t be my best self on days like this. The self I need on days like this is the self who can calm me down. The patient, loving one. The one that thinks to herself, “Hey, hey, hey. It’s ok. It’s ok. I’m right here.” 

Yes, I literally talk to myself how a mom would talk to a baby. It works. Don’t judge. 

Point is, you don’t have to hustle hard every day. You don’t have to follow accounts that make you feel like you should wake up early to an inspirational song and workout to an inspirational playlist and shower to an inspirational podcast. I’m tired of that bullshit. I just want to roll out of bed and go to work and wait for the depression to fade so I can be a human again. And that is my best self in this moment. 

Your best self is the self you need that day. Maybe it’s the bad bitch who takes no shit, maybe it’s the calm mommy. It could also be the boss lady who drinks 10 cups of coffee and gets to the office before 7:00 a.m. Whatever you need. Just let that self show up accordingly. 

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