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All my fellow underachievers need to read this...

Someone wrote into Polly at The Cut, asking why they were so lazy when they knew they were so capable. Why do they procrastinate, do the bare minimum to get the best possible result when it’s more stressful than just doing the work in a normal timeframe, why they’re messy and unmotivated, and it was as if I had written it myself. Polly’s answer blew my head open and I had to read it about five times over. Go read the whole thing, but here’s an excerpt:

“You aren’t lazy. Lose that one first. You’re afraid. You’re afraid of investing your full self in anything, only to be disappointed. You’re afraid to show your heart. You’re afraid of trying to change your habits only to disappoint yourself.


You know how they say “Scratch a cynic, find a romantic”? Well, scratch an underachiever and find a hard worker afraid of disappointing herself. Both the cynic and the underachiever are afraid of sticking their necks out and becoming who they deeply, passionately want to become, for fear of looking stupid or failing. I think you’re conflicted about your current habits because you’re not actually a person who wants to avoid work or avoid cleaning or avoid schedules or avoid the world. I’ll bet you’re not even an introvert at heart. You’re someone who wants to live out loud, share herself with the world, and stop overthinking and delaying and avoiding the pesky little tasks that make up a life.”


I have spent my whole life feeling like I was capable of So Much More, but rarely leaning into it. Rather, I procrastinate and find excuses and reasons why not, even devoted myself to my relationship in my 20s as a way to avoid my true, on fire, imperfect shooting star self. I’m on the way back to me, back to the narratives I write about myself that are true, and I wonder if I’m delusional.

This internet advice column (because of course profound truths can be found wherever you seek them) lets me know that I am not crazy and I am capable of the greatness I know is extant in me, despite my efforts to diminish it.

This year I am steering into that frightening curve, and I am going to laugh all the way to the finish line or the fiery crash, whichever comes first. And then I am going the fuck around again.

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