I used to be very competitive. I played sports, raced mountain bikes, drove ATV at breakneck speeds through the woods all with the intention of winning, even when there was really no winning. In some cases I raced against myself. Could I ride that trail faster than I did the week before, lift more weight than I did the day before, run the trail faster, could I get a better batting average. I exuded frustration when I wasn’t better or the best.
At some point anger took over and my competitive nature became asinine. I was competitive in situations where it wasn’t warranted.
And then I lost it. I lost interest in competing against myself and others. I saw my behavior and realized that I was angry. Sure you could say I was also driven to succeed. And In a manner I had succeeded in my goal- getting out of small town Maine getting a free ride to UMaine and doing the best I felt I could do.
When I got to college I had pretty much given up on academic competition. I was happy to get the grades I got but I was shocked at the competition in the art room. I was still competitive with myself (mostly with biking) but the art room competition got to me. Crawled under my skin and frustrated me. The women it seemed were less competitive than the men but were competitive in a different way. The men outright would say “I’ll do this better than you.”
I’ve left that sort of insanity behind and I’m happier for it. When I created the artjournaling.ning.com site it was to connect with other art journalers and people who worked int eh book format. I never expected it to take off the way it has. I’m very excited, pleased and happy to see it take off. Most of all I’m really excited to see all of the journalers and artists working together to learn, expand their knowledge and technique skills and chatting and making friends. I’m really excited to have been able to have met and worked with all the fantastic artists who have created workshops. It’s truly something that I’ve felt has become so much more than what I expected.
The thing with the ning site is that it’s not competitive. There is no judgment only working together.
I do need to get some of that competition back in my life, especially the “I can bike further today than I did yesterday…”