Monday, August 13, 2007

The self-imposed agony of victory

As you might remember me mentioning in a previous post, I entered some scrapbook pages into the state fair. This is the 2nd year I’ve done so and last year I was lucky enough to win 2nd place in the 2 page layout category.

There are 4 different categories to enter and I entered a layout into each one this year. Now I was convinced, absolutely convinced that the 1 page layout I did of Gwen was going to steal the show – it was so good that it would literally shame everything around it. It would gleam like a diamond amongst the pile of dung that was everyone else’s entries!

Now I couldn’t find out the results until I actually went to the fair and I didn’t have tickets to go until Sunday, but my parents went on Saturday and then came to my house and congratulated me on my victory. I had won 1st place! I was instantly ecstatic. I jumped up and down as if somebody had just pulled into my driveway and handed me an oversized posterboard check.

Now I had assumed that my layout of Gwen was the winner and then they informed me that it was my State Fair themed page that had won, and instantly I was dejected.

Shouldn’t I have still been thrilled? Yes, I should have. However, I thought that page was mediocre at best. It was the last one I would have expected to win and the only thing going through my mind was that it must have been the only decent one in that category. There were probably only 3 other entries and they were created by 10 year olds with stickers and glitter glue.

Why do I beat myself up like this? Lack of confidence mostly. Just as I have a tendency to tear others down to protect myself from rejection; it seems that I must also tear myself down - why? I’m not quite sure. Perhaps I do need therapy to answer that one.

I went to the fair on Sunday and discovered to my delight that there were about 12 other very nice entries in the State Fair category and that I may have truly and actually won due to some small skill of my own.

I received an honorable mention on my 2 page layout about Aaron and I was very pleased with that as well. So I’ve been trying really hard to congratulate myself and feel like a winner without having to always conditionalize my victory both verbally and internally by constantly repeating: "I only won because the judge liked my journaling – the layout itself probably sucked – 12 other entries is really not that many to beat – if I thought that page was crap and it won then obviously I don’t know what’s good and what’s not, etc. etc."

It’s really pathetic being me.

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