"Be like a duck - calm on the surface but always paddling like crazy underneath."
I could relate to the sentiment for most of my life, trying to look composed on the outside while struggling like crazy on the inside to be the best and to fit in.
Why did I waste precious time and energy manufacturing myself into what I perceived as acceptable to others? I was foolish to think that I could enjoy the peaceful waters above while paddling like crazy underneath.
I found this tidbit from Liveducks.com interesting:
"In the wild, ducks are free to choose mates, swim, fly, eat and live freely without being confined. Pet ducks may not have these same freedoms, but they have learned to adapt to a confined life over hundreds of years of being bred in captivity, relying solely on humans for their primary care. The quality of your pet duck's life depends largely on how committed you are to his care and well being."
Instead of enjoying my ability to live and choose freely, I created my own captivity. I lived in a constant state of judgement within my own head that asked "Is this acceptable? Does this portray the right message? Will this be accepted?" rather than just being. I was relying on other humans to fill needs that they could never fill.
I am learning to paddle less, take better care of myself, and enjoy life more. And, I think that's just ducky :)