Hey, so you ever heard of that fable ‘The Hare and The Tortoise’? Yeah well everyone hedged their bets on the Hare winning the race against that awfully slow tortoise, and yet the outcome was a surprising one I give you that. I mean its logical that the Hare would win that race, we all know that. But no there’s a valid point to be made here. That careful and easy going Tortoise just strolled along not worried about a thing, he ignored the Hare and his jibes and minded his own business. However, the Hare was more focused on getting ahead of the Tortoise and took a nap because of his cockiness, and well that ended up being the reason why he lost the race. He underestimated the Tortoise’s abilities.
The point I want to make here is that we can all see ourselves in both the Hare and the Tortoise. Sometimes we want to get ahead of things, and we often rush around and forget to do something because we have more speed than haste. This inevitably leads us to doing a task wrong one way or another. We then realise that perhaps going at a slower Tortoise like pace is more practical for certain tasks we carry out, maybe because they simply need more consideration than others.
So why do we race around like headless chickens at times? Is there really any need? Are we wasting our time by doing this? Why can’t we just take our time on things, and embrace what we’re doing? Why can’t we focus on what we’re doing without worrying what everyone else is doing?
For me I felt like this when I dropped out of my university, and started at the Open University. I felt like I was a failure because I gave up, but what I didn’t consider is that my decision was simply not the right one for me. I took a year out and started again, and yes this meant I was two paces behind my peers. I’m not going to lie it sucks. They’re all progressing in life and going into jobs now, and I’m in the middle of my second year of my degree.
I now have a different outlook. Yes, I am behind my peers so to speak but that doesn’t mean I’m missing out on anything. From my year out of education I was in work earning money, and gaining experience. Some of my friends had never had a job during university, and even some now aren’t in a job despite having a degree. I realise that having that year out made me grow up a lot, and I guess I grew into myself and figured out what I wanted to do with my life. I’m now in a situation where I’m studying towards a degree that I hope will get me into a career of publishing. This is what I’m working towards, and I have this blog on the side to help as well as applying for work experience/internships for summer to make another stepping stone towards my goal.
None of this works out in a matter of weeks. All of this takes time, and probably more time than I’m anticipating but that’s not the point. My point is that despite me being “behind” my friends, I am taking the steps towards what I want to do in MY own time. I’m not racing, I’m going at a speed that I’m comfortable with and that’s good enough for me. I know that if I work hard and strive to gain my goals, then it will happen. There’s no need to race ahead in anticipation of everything falling into place. Time and effort is what will make me appreciate my goal in the end. I will be proud and happy to complete my degree, and be in a job I will love doing.
Racing to make this happen wouldn’t do me any favours, and the chances of things not working out would be a lot higher. I would end up disheartened and maybe even close to given up my dreams, because I’m too worried about what everyone else thinks. So what if your friend has finished her nursing degree and is in a full time job now? She worked for it at her own speed and that’s okay. Just the same as me working towards by degree “behind” her if you like. It doesn’t matter. We’re both happy in our own ways, we’re going at the speeds we’re comfortable and happy with. Just because someone is doing something you thought you would be doing by now, doesn’t make you a failure. It makes you, you.
So I embrace the Tortoise. I am strolling through life at a comfortable speed, and I’m happy. I’m working towards my goals and I will reach my destination when I’m ready. If you’re a Hare, I admire your decisiveness of knowing what you want to do and throwing yourself out there and being ready for it all. You’re fabulous, just remember its okay to take a break at times and if you pass a Tortoise say hello, and if you see one at the finishing line give them a pat on the back. Just as us Tortoise’s show our admiration towards you.
So I reach out to you all, whether you’re a bit like a Hare or a Tortoise maybe you’re a bit of both. In which case you’re a Hartoise? Anyhow, you do you and be proud because you can do anything if you put your mind to it.