That’s what my roommate always says. She’s an actress so she loves using that analogy. Another one I’ve heard is “Don’t compare your beginnings to another person’s middle” or “Don’t compare your insides to someone else’s outsides.”
I have always been a victim of comparison. My earliest memory is when I was 6 and skipped 1st grade right in to 2nd grade. I remember how proud it made my parents, how impressed my peers were and how great I felt at being, well…better. Comparison can have its advantages. It created a drive and ambition in me that propelled me in High School to being co-captain of my dance team, class president, co-chair of Student Council, a part of National Honor Society and other leadership programs. It created a competitive energy in me that helped me graduate College cum laude, move to New York City and become the independent and self-sufficient woman I am today. Disadvantage wise it has made me a pretty miserable person.
Ok, so I’m being a little dramatic but after College I entered “The Real World” and I realize that although I may have been great in my school/town/tiny suburb of a neighborhood, I am not that special compared to the millions of people I joined ranks with today. I was reminded of that at every job application, every audition and every party I went to.
Here is an example of where my comparison tendencies have gotten me: The other day I was watching Britney Spears’ documentary special on E! (don’t worry, it’s not her I’m jealous of). While watching I recognized one of her dancers from another E! reality show “The Dance Scene”. I couldn’t recall her name but through Google I found it and from there clicked on her Instagram and before I knew it, 2 hours had passed of me scrolling and flipping through her photos of a life as a fabulous, beautiful and successful professional dancer. My dream life. For a long time I wanted to be a professional dancer and in the past year or so I’ve been working on letting that fantasy slip from my reality. I’ve finally started being okay with watching “So You Think You Can Dance” without turning green with envy that these kids are 18 while I’m 26 and can never hope to be at the level they are at. But all my bitterness came screaming back and it left me with a feeling of emptiness, sadness and longing.
Why was I comparing my life to theirs? Why was I comparing my accomplishments and my merit to a girl that I don’t even know and doesn’t know me?? What do I know about her life besides what she chooses to share on social media? Our lives are nothing alike and it is pointless for me to spend time thinking about her life and wishing it was mine because…well it’s not mine!
I understand that but it’s hard to undo years of being on the other side of the fence. Sometimes I’m not going to be the best and sometimes I’m not even going to be better than anyone but I just have to be myself.
This year I vow to take social media with a grain of salt. I vow to not compare myself with others and instead turn what negative energy I’m accruing into motivational energy for my life. I vow to NOT spend time poring over other peoples accomplishments and foster jealousy or envy.
2014 onward we go!! Steps to a better year, a better life, a better me!