There is a slow poison in comparison. A creeping uneasiness when we begin to evaluate ourselves based on the existence of others. The more mundane examples are comparing our asses or houses to others. But I think the more dangerous examples are when we begin evaluating ourselves based on the “accomplishments” of others. And when you have as many beautiful and talented and successful friends as I have its hard not to wonder how I myself stack up next to all these lil angelz. But that’s just it. I don’t need to stack up next to them. I am not in a competition and we are not in a race against one another. And when the fuck did I start thinking that it might be?
From a very young age I seemed to conceptually understand that there was no use in comparing myself to other people. Not only because it seemed a disastrous way to spend my time but also because it was a never ending. Non-winnable, pointless venture. Because the fact is there is always someone “smarter” “prettier” “funnier” “cooler” “sexier” “more knowledgeable” than me. And I felt okay with that. What I didn’t know was how difficult it would be to grow older. To watch friends change and move and get married and have children and start careers and buy houses. And I had no idea any of these milestones mattered to me until very very recently.
Even now as I type that I question how much they actually mean to me. More accurately, what they mean to me. What does “getting married” mean? What does “starting a family” mean? What does “buying a house mean”? Somehow Ive equated these milestones to greater happiness, and I guess at the bottom of it, and admittedly the ugliest part, I equate others arriving at these chapters in their lives as having more value as a human being than I do.
There I said it.
Sometimes when I find out people are engaged or seem to be on that “path” of “adulthood” I feel really crummy. And I start comparing my life to theirs and it begins a terrible cycle of confusion, isolation and ultimately unhappiness. So not only do I allow myself to feel inferior I also totally selfishly take away happiness I might otherwise feel for my friends. And they deserve my acceptance and congratulations and high fives.
So when I realized I was basically acting like a bratty teenage girl who was jealous someone got asked to prom and I didn’t, I decided to eliminate assigning bizarre value to these peoples lives and instead define what it was that I wanted from life, what made me happy and what I was devoted to. I was surprised how simple it was. How uncomplicated my desires were. And after a week and a half of feeling like a complete psycho, “always a bridesmaid”, Im going to start yoga and never smoke a cigarette again, maybe I need straighter teeth, my music sounds not unlike a toddler learning to play the ukulele, when I decided to quit being a little baby and actually delve into what it was I wanted from bein alive, I was just pleased as punch to realize that essentially all I want from life is to nurture and discover my own voice, experience selfless love and to give and receive joy, understanding and laughter. And at risk of sounding like any number of the cards my mother sends me in the mail that Im pretty sure are written by old ladies sitting in a church some place knitting booties for babies and drinking watered down coffee, I really believe in my heart that outside of love and understanding there isn’t much to live for.
Which is when I realized I have and am currently living “my dream”. Yes I would like for there to be a few additional elements, but the truth is I haven’t found that part of my life yet. Or maybe I have and I cant see it yet. Maybe If I would just breathe and chill the fuck out I would be able to see that my path is working out petty nicely for myself. That I have grown to be a woman with self-respect, walked friends through grief, have beautiful and devoted support for my goals in music and writing and that thank jesus I have a sense of humor regarding just about everything. That I’ve traveled and lived in many cities and dated half the nations population, and learned new things everyday of my life. That I have been pretty ungrateful recently.
I also realized that just because these people are hanging curtains in their new windows, tying the knot and owning things like “daily planners” doesn’t mean that they have themselves or the world any more figured out than I do.That they are now somehow instantly content forever and they can rest their hats and discontinue self improvement and understanding because they now have the answer to all of the worlds questions and sorrows. And if they do then I salute them. Others pace is irrelevant to my own.
I mean I could type on and on forever trying to intellectualize something I’ve known for a while:
We all want love. We all want to feel special and noticed and heard and understood and cared for. And we are responsible for establishing how we would like to accomplish those things. And not only establish how but wholly completely and totally believe in our own dream. Even when others don’t. Even when it seems like the dream is “unlikely”. Even when we are tired and worn out and beaten down. We have to find that resilience to believe in what we want most.
So instead of making pie graphs of my happiness vs. the worlds happiness Im just gonna shut the fuck up and start living more presently. Laughing more. Letting myself exist as the woman I am, evolving at the pace that I am evolving and celebrate the happiness I have in my own life and the happiness my friends and loves are experiencing in their lives.
As one of my boss bitch role models once said “I am the empress of my own goddamn happiness”.
Cheers, bitches. I love all y’all & I want magic and love for e’rry last one of you!