I sat down to write this post today, and I can’t pick a topic. I have so many thoughts in my head, and I’m not sure which one I want to write about first. This is a new problem for me. I’ve never been a writer, so this is a new experience for me.
But one thing has been on my mind. My friend TS who writes the awesome blog “Flying by the Seat of My Pants” had an interesting post yesterday. (Read it here.) She talks about feeling inferior to people in her life, that they all seem way more successful, more charming, more beautiful, more put-together than she is.
I’m starting to realize that we all feel that way. I think everyone feels inferior to others when they start to compare. I know I’ve gotten comments about how in-charge of my life I am. And my inner response is “Really? You have no idea the crazy in my head right now. I’m messed up.” (I’m not crazy in a about-to-be-institutionalized sort of way. Just in a normal girl-who-has-self-esteem-issues sort of way.) But how many people do we let in to see that craziness? Not many. Just a few close trusted friends – people we know won’t use that knowledge against us and won’t turn away from us because of it. And really, I’m not any more crazy than the next person because we all have these thoughts of inferiority.
Take house cleaning. Yes someone’s house may seem more clean or tidy that yours. But ten bucks says that either they cleaned it right before you came over, or their house is always that way. If their house is always that way, you may lose that particular comparison but I know you’d win it in another area.
The comparison game is hard not to play but it really doesn’t help to play it. I know this for sure because I used to play it with my friend RM. If I sit and compare my life to hers, I lose on paper. She has a job that she loves and is fairly passionate about, she has an amazing marriage to an awesome guy, she’s pretty, she’s about a size 4, she’s funny, she cooks well, she’s creative. See? I lose. It used to really get me down sometimes because I felt like I could never measure up and that I was just a mess in comparison.
Now I try very hard to not compare my life to hers. First of all, you can never really know what someone’s life is like because of that front we all put on. Even our close friends don’t know it all. Like I’ve said before, I don’t want to share all my inner workings with one person – too vulnerable.
But I also realized that it doesn’t really matter how my life stacks up compared to hers. The bottom line really should be “am I happy with my life?” And I strive to make my life happy, not to make my life more like hers. I do use her as inspiration for ideas, and I use her as a sounding board for life’s problems sometimes. But I’m not trying to make my life like RM’s. I’m just trying to make it a happier and more fulfilling life for me.
So, TS, I just want to tell you that I understand your crazy-town thoughts. And I want to let you know that we all have them. Take comfort in your life and how happy it’s making you. And when you’re really feeling down, laugh with a friend…or have a scotch.
“Spend life with who makes you happy, not who you have to impress.”