Why I Stopped Comparing Myself to Others

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Being in our twenties seems like a nonstop barrage of annual deadlines – “land a job in the real world!”, “get married!”, “be financially independent!”, “travel!” Travel? Doesn’t that basically involve a good majority (if not all) of the post-college earnings you’ve raked in since graduation?

Turning 25 this year, I’ll be the first to confess that social media always triggers the “what-if’s” and “why-not’s” of my life. I’ve browsed through albums sprawling with semi-friends and long-lost peers on their nationwide/worldwide adventures, group shots at nightclubs and bars, and I think to myself “Why am I not doing stuff like this?”, “Am I not worthy enough of this kind of happiness and experience?”. What I finally realized after these constant self-comparisons is that photos only capture moments, not lives. You have no idea what these people go through on a daily basis emotionally, psychologically or otherwise. (Plus, for me personally, I’m not a club-goer nor am I a bar sprawler on an every weekend basis. Give me a nice café any day).

So what if Whatsherface got to take in pure air on a mountaintop? What if that other girl spent a week frolicking through the streets of Italy? So what? The moments you make can amount to or even exceed reaching a mountaintop, and traveling to a foreign country is never an impossibility. Besides, an adventure can be right outside your house, in your nearest city, in your own backyard. Life isn’t a race or any other competition for success, marriage, or otherwise. People aren’t your rivals in life, whether they be friends, family, or acquaintances. Ever hear the phrase “just do you”? We need to do what makes us happy, and we need to ignore the momentary bliss of others we deem as happiness on an everyday basis. 

It’s been almost a year months since I graduated college, and I’ve been through the worst up’s and down’s in my life that I could ever imagine. I’ve applied to hundreds of jobs since then, probably more than I can count, and I’ve probably received more declines than a debt-riddled shopaholic. But, you can’t succeed without failing, and you can’t fail without trying.

People like me need to remember something: Progress is like a flower bud among blossoms – the chances of one blooming are inevitable – Unpredictable, but nonetheless inevitable.

xx

Arielle

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