I still wear sunscreen
Updated: Dec 7, 2018
When I was 10, ‘Everybody’s Free (to wear sunscreen)’ hit the charts. Mary Schmich’s wisdom, delivered through 90s synth and Baz Lurhmann flair, were far too much for a prep school boy to understand. I remember being most taken with the advice on the sunscreen and the reference to the ‘funky chicken’. To this day, I couldn’t tell you what it looks like, and I’ll be damned if I let Youtube ruin 20 years of wondering.
One line always finds a way to burrow its way back into my mind:
The race is long, and in the end, it is only with yourself.
And that race can feel so, so exhausting.
We speak to ourselves in a way that would be unimaginable to others. If the way we address ourselves was printed out, thrust into our hands and delivered to our worst enemy, the words would stick in our throats.
The conflict within ourselves defines our life, because it changes how we approach life. How can some with so much be so unhappy? How can some with nothing be so content?
Because the race is only with yourself.
How do you win? Well, I don’t think you ever can. Your fears, insecurities and fears can always outrun you. They can be fitter, endure longer, fight harder. Because we give to them the energy we could use ourselves.
The only way out is to let it go. To put aside the competition, and embrace the competitor with kindness and a sense of humour and perspective. Accept you are human, you are not perfect and that you are good enough. Leave the conflict in your head and look out into the world.
You can’t beat yourself, only beat yourself up. What a waste of time when the world needs so much help. So much of your help.
Let it go, and go live.