Discover more from Ayana’s Substack
Celebrating small wins.
Even when they don't feel like enough.
I’ve read 13 books this year.
When people ask, I impulsively feel the need to explain. Sometimes, after a long day, my TikTok For You page is the only thing I can consume. Or I’ve been so busy with work and parenting that it’s hard to finish a book. Of course, I’m ignoring the fact that reading one or two books a month is fine. Reading zero books a month is fine! But so many of my friends and social media follows have casually read double, triple, or quadruple my amount. It’s not a competition, but it feels like one.
We bought a house last year. It is the perfect size for us — spacious with a backyard in a quiet neighborhood. And yet, every time someone my age posts a tour of their perfect house, I wonder if I’ve somehow fallen behind because my bathroom isn’t Instagram-worthy.
I’ve also been moving my body in small ways, and I feel great. But my husband has taken up running in recent months, and I’ve felt silly being proud of myself for a 45-minute walk when he’s running several miles every morning. (Are we noticing a pattern?)
These are the things I don’t share on Instagram, where I show up as the best, most self-actualized version of myself. But I have a serious problem with comparison. When people tell me they envy my life, I laugh. I spend so much of my time wishing it was better. I miss the good parts.
I don’t have anything profound to share because I feel like I’m still figuring this out. However, I’ve noticed that I tend to overvalue the accomplishments of the people around me while undervaluing my work. I’m exercising and reading, which has improved my mental health. I have a house that meets all of my current needs.
It may not feel like enough, but it is.
In other news…
WHAT I READ: “The Great Zelle Pool Scam,” an Insider article about a guy who got scammed out of $31,000 that manages to be equal parts shocking and entertaining.
WHAT I BOUGHT: I tried this Apple Watch charger stand at my parents’ house and liked it so much that I bought my own. I keep it at my desk.
WHAT I WROTE: I performed a quasi-scientific experiment to see which of my water tumblers keeps ice coldest. You can read it here.