Belle was having a bit of a freak out last night about starting college today.
She was doing her summer holiday homework, (clearly VERY prepared), which involved creating a Pinterest board about herself. I was throwing ideas at her, she was dismissing them. (Genuinely her homework was to create a selection of Pinterest boards. How is that homework?)
At the same time she was having a bit of a generalised meltdown. She’s doing a music based A-level and she’s worried that she can ‘only’ sing.
‘You have beautiful voice though,’ I said, ‘and grade seven singing.’
‘But that’s just a VOICE,’ she said, ‘I’ve not had to LEARN something have I?’
‘Just because it feels easy to you,’ I said, ‘doesn’t mean you aren’t good.’
She raised her eyebrows.
‘Take the Beatles,’ she said, ‘John Lennon could play the guitar, piano, keyboards, saxophone, harmonica, six-string bass guitar and some percussion. And then you have Ringo Starr playing the drums. I’M RINGO STARR. No one wants to be Ringo Starr.’
I thought that actually a lot of people probably really wouldn’t mind being Ringo Starr. I told her she needed to find some things to add to her Pinterest boards about comparison being the thief of joy.
‘The thing is,’ I said, ‘you’re never going to be the absolute best at anything – it takes a certain type of weirdo to be the best in the world at any one thing. We’re never going to be that person because we have friends and family and other interests.’
I wasn’t sure her I was winning her over.
‘You can’t beat yourself up for not being THE best,’ I went on, ‘you just have to be your OWN best.’
I let that sink in. Then I thought about it a bit more. ‘Be your own best.’ That was actually pretty catchy. Belle thought so too.
‘Mum, that’s actually really good, you should write that down.’
‘That must be a thing already surely?’ I said. We did some Googling, expecting to find about 43,921 images all looking much like this one:
There actually wasn’t anything though.
‘I’m going to write a blog post about it,’ I said, ‘so it doesn’t become like that time I made up ‘chillax’ and didn’t tell anyone and now no one believes me.’
‘You genuinely should,’ said Belle.
So I did.
Be your own best.
(Here it is again in a different font, just for good measure.)