Acceptance is weird. Or rather, the quest for it is. By putting yourself in a position of desiring acceptance, you can actually set yourself apart from the place you want to be. You are deferent to it. Simple questions or requests can be interpreted as challenges or competitions. “If I do this right,” you may say to yourself, even if the activity in question is as mundane as chopping onions, “I can gain acceptance.”
But how much is it a matter of perspective? How much is the desire for acceptance and the ensuing competitive approach a function of our own insecurity? How many times is it the case when, if we bothered to stop and look around, we’d see that we’re on the same tier as everyone else. There is no hierarchy. We are already accepted.
As you may have guessed, I’m specifially talking about it in terms of family. It’s amazing how a shift in context can disrupt that understanding. I got it this summer (both personally and professionally). But this spring, in England, it seemed different. Until I realized it wasn’t.
It’s not that you need to win a race. You just have to realize you’re already in the pack. The pace doesn’t matter. You just need to want to be a part of it, to keep moving. The race is its own reward.