Medium Scares Me
Well not Medium. That was a deliberately misleading title designed to make you click on it, did it work?
No, what scares me are endless articles telling me what I should do. The ones that promise to make me more productive, that instruct me on how to become a better person, the ones that shovel good advice down my throat until I choke upon their saintly offerings.
The word should now makes me shiver. It tells me that everything that I’m failing to achieve on their list is just that: failure. In fairness to Medium and its writers, I’m sure that’s not the intention. Inspiration is the name of their game, but inspiration and inadequacy walk a fine line together. Each piece of advice, each numbered catchy phrasing of a better way to live my life leaves me feeling panicked and inferior.
Perhaps I am the only one. I write these blogs, the ones where I confess my feelings to you, in the hope that I am providing you comfort when you feel the same way. It may lead you to think that I have an unhappier life than I do; I do, after all, write far more about my self perceived failings than I ever do about the moments I laugh so hard that I fear my sides will fall out. That is, dear reader, because I think my happiness won't help you, and I do so desperately want to help you. It is what gives me satisfaction in this space, the thought that you may be reading and feeling comforted by a shared understanding as I have with the blogs I love to read. But it is terrifying to think that I could publish a sentiment that only I share, one that may leave you feeling baffled.
What I want to say to you in this post is that it's okay to avoid these topics, indeed I think we should. Can I really be saying the word I so hate? I only mean that it is good to put in place practises that make you happier, and if that happens to be following Medium's magical advice then please, by all means, improve yourself. But if the words that the many on this site offer leave you filled with despair then join me in saying no. Just as we said no to social media when our self esteem was lacking, so too can we say no to advice that is more of a hindrance than it is helpful. You are doing wonderfully well on your own, even when it feels like you're not, and don't let advice givers, even myself, panic you. Advice is only ever based on a person's own lived experience, and will not speak fully to what is best for you. So find what helps you, just you, and embrace it. I'm sure you'll be glad you did.