I’m not a competitive person by nature. Well….that’s not true. At all. I’m competitive. Like, insanely competitive. Think you’re more competitive than me? Not a chance, chump!
What I meant to say was, I’m competitive, but I don’t like competing. Because I’m also a very sore loser, and quite aware of that fact. When I’m really invested in something, there’s also intense self-doubt about how good my skills really are. For example, I wouldn’t be inclined to enter a writing or drawing competition, because those are two things I love very much, and I’d hate the idea of putting myself in an arena where my skills might be judged as inadequate. Wouldn’t it prove to be a good learning experience, though? A way to perhaps learn from failure? Maybe. But if you don’t play, you don’t lose, which means you automatically win. It’s perfectly sound logic. Perfectly. Sound.
I do, however, compete in competitions that don’t exist, striving to achieve trivial and meaningless trophies that nobody’s actually handing out. If I am, let’s say, walking down the stairs and I see someone else walking down as well, I will try to beat them to the bottom of the staircase. Every muscle in my body will push itself to the limit for the sole purpose of winning a race that only I’m running. The other person will never know of their crushing defeat as my feet touch the floor mere seconds before theirs do but in my head, I’m doing victory laps. Similarly, if someone seems to be walking in the same direction as me (on the street, in a hallway, in a movie theater), I’ll try to get ahead of them. An arbitrary finish line will be set by my brain (the end of the block, the elevators, the concession stand) and I will have to reach there before the other person does.
Why in the world would I do that? Probably because it’s easy. It’s really simple to just walk fast and try to outpace someone that isn’t in a hurry. It’s a way to feel the thrill of competition without running the risk of actual failure. A way to achieve the safest of victories in a world where loss lurks at every corner.
Or maybe I’m just a weirdo. Yeah, that last one. That’s it.