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Competative people ...

When I was growing up it was a common pastime for my family to sit around and play Rook, Pinochle, Rummy or even monopoly. I grew up with my father saying "It has nothing to do with luck - just skill and daring" when he undoubtedly wiped the floor with me (he was never so crass as to "let" me or my brother win). I was raised in a very competitive environment - games were played to be won.

My Father came from a rather strong competitive family background. He, his brothers, and his sister constantly tried to outdo the others in deeds and pranks. To this day if you put them in a room together there will undoubtedly be posturing of some sort.

I don't know how my brother and I got saved from such a fate. Maybe it was the fact that there was just two of us, personality quirks, or active parenting but I feel that around the high school years we weren't as interested in besting the other as much as besting ourselves. I was never held to some past action of my Brother's but rather always pitted against my own past actions - told that I could do better next time.

One of my favorite memories pertaining to the constant drive to better oneself is when I came home with A's my father would question why I didn't get an A+. I had a teacher (one of my favorites) who echoed this mentality when, while I was glowing over a perfect 100 from an algebra test, she frowned down at me and asked why I didn't get the extra credit problem. Harsh - but the right tactic with me. I always tried to do better next time.

Now I am almost 30 and though I am still fiercely competitive with myself - I am chafing under the competitive nature of those around me. Maybe it is because I am not used to being tied to a network of this many people (I generally keep to myself) or maybe my reclusive nature simply results in my not playing well with others ... but I really don't like the game of "mine is bigger than yours".

I take pictures because I enjoy photography and I like analyzing such things in nature. I paint and draw because I love having some sort of creative outlet. I cook because it is a love language passed down to me from my mother - I like feeding people. I don't do those things to be better than someone else. I don't like comparing my things to others because I don't want to take my joy away from my items or belittle theirs. I don't see the need. You want me to bake something for you - awesome - but don't tell me to do so because I need to compare it to someone else’s to see who is best.

I recently spent an extended amount of time with someone who is highly competitive. I don't think they realized it but anytime I mentioned anything they owned two of them that were more expensive or had seen/done it a dozen times with more amazing results.

I am tired of it.

I am tired of people trying to pit something I care about up against someone else to find some measure or value to it. I don't care if anyone else enjoys it - I do! Don't try to attach some sort of value to it - great or small. My home is filled with items or photographs that all have back stories: who gave it to me, where I got it, who was with me, what happened that year, why I bought it, etc. Almost everything I own has a back-story - some are more detailed than others but the value isn't something that can be measured. When it comes to my cooking - the vast majority of my recipes come from my mother who got them from another family member and are attached to memories way back of family dinners and holidays. Yet you want me to bring a dish to compare a similar item with someone else so you can decide whether it is good or not? No, thank you.

I think this is one of the reasons I am such a reclusive and private person. I don't feel the need to find value in my things or person based on others standards ... yet others feel the need to place some value on it.

I don't want to play and I wish people would figure that out on their own before I have to start getting rude.

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