I often catch myself making comparisons between myself and women who’ve achieved things that I think are pretty amazing. Needless to say, I don’t come out on top. I know comparisons are a pointless exercise because there are always going to be people who seem – or who are – ahead of me in some way or another.
I was thinking about Oprah the other day. It’s a dangerous comparison to make, but I made it anyway. We’re about the same age. We both got molested as children, and we’re both passionate about life and about unpacking the things that block us. We both believe that there’s no coincidence and that everything that happens has value.
A lot of our ideas are so similar we could have been sisters. We both question everything. But alas that’s where the similarities end. She broke through her own barriers and immense social ones to create an empire for herself where she has spread a lot of love and vitality around.
I’ve spent my entire life trying to break out of my own prison. I’ve tried ferociously to pursue dreams that burned at me when I was a child. And I’ve failed spectacularly. Twice I’ve ended up at ground zero. The first time I tried to put a plaster over the wound. This last time I faced myself. Now my brilliant career is a seedling sinking tiny threadlike roots down and pushing pretty tentative stem and leaves up above the surface of the soil.
Oprah pushed through to a brilliant career at a young age. There’s no doubt about it. She wins this ridiculous contest in my head, hands down. Has she achieved more than I have? It’s a no-brainer career-wise. Does she have more value than me? To most of the world, yes, without a doubt. I sure like her and admire her and love her vitality.
So do I have any value at all? Strangely, yes. I know intrinsic value isn’t linked to what you can achieve, and we all have the same. But I still want to achieve. I don’t want to be as big as Oprah, but I definitely want to be much much further ahead than I am now.
Well, a friend of mine said people still do great things with their lives when they start at 56. I hold on to that. Because I love my own vitality too and my dreams are as strong as they ever were. It’s not over until it’s over. And even then, I suspect we get another chance to carry on from the place we managed to get to this time round.