Jan. 25 2023 08:00 AM

Being inspired is great, but I’m starting to wonder if it’s spreading the wrong message.

Look, I get it. A social media influencer’s job is to influence. They exist to convince others to buy this product, attend this event, or just to follow their page and like their posts. And typically, more positive content will attract more followers. So, I understand the inspirational mindset, but for me, it’s starting to feel a little bit pushy.

First of all, why does every year have to be “my year”? You’re setting yourself up for failure by thinking this way. At the beginning of each of the last five years, I’ve vowed something to the tune of, “This is the year I get my life together.” And it has yet to happen. Because life happens. Then, come December, I’m twice as disappointed.

The truth is, not every year is supposed to be “your year.” You don’t always have to trump the one before it. Okay, maybe last year you published a book, started a successful YouTube channel, had a kid, and lost 20 pounds; congrats! That doesn’t mean you need to publish five books, start your own TV network, and become the world’s greatest body builder this year. You’re not in a competition with yourself; you’re living your life. Some years, that means taking a step back and enjoying what you’ve accomplished and built. Maybe it means taking a break to focus on your own physical or mental health and let someone else shine.

Also, let’s be honest, not everyone was meant to shine. Have you ever met someone and known instantly that they were going to be somebody? They have big ideas and say all the right things and people light up in their presence. Please know that I’m not saying this to be mean, but that doesn’t have to be you. It doesn’t have to be me. Some people were meant to lead, to stand in the spotlight and have all the attention. Some of us just aren’t. And that’s not a bad thing.

In the last year, I’ve learned that living a good life doesn’t mean being somebody to everyone; it means being somebody to someone. Whether it’s a friend, your family, or the guy whose coffee you paid for at Starbucks that one time, we all have the power to change lives. Like every good farmer knows, you must ride out the bad years to thrive in the good ones.

Jessica Peters

The author dairies in partnership with her parents and brother at Spruce Row Farm in Pennsylvania. Jessica is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, and since 2015, she has been active in promoting dairy in her local community. You can find her and her 250 Jersey cows on Facebook at Spruce Row Dairy or on Instagram at @seejessfarm.