I think by our early twenties we’ve all come to the unanimous decision that comparison is the thief of joy, and I can honestly say I live by that motto (most of the time). I’ve never been one of those bloggers that gets too caught up in the comparison game. So “Blogger X” has a younger blog than mine and more Instagram followers? Whatever. So “Blogger Y” doesn’t know the difference between “You’re” and “Your” and just signed a book deal? Okay. I love blogging and social media, I’m addicted even but for whatever reason (thankfully) I’ve never fallen into the trap of comparing myself to other bloggers. We’re all on our own paths and just because one girl reaches internet fame while I’m over here like “Mom when are you going to start reading my blog?!” doesn’t mean I’m not a talented writer or a worthy blogger. We’re all on our own paths and I’m pretty much okay with that.
The same cannot be said in my “real life” all the time. Though I live a life I am proud of (and happy with), I go through times that leave me deflated and unfulfilled. I currently have two close friends staying in our spare bedroom. I understand the ins and outs of their relationship as much as you really can without being “in it”. I know their relationship isn’t perfect-no one’s is! I see their relationship and I can’t help but compare it to my own.
I think to myself “it must be nice to have a boyfriend who is home by 6:00 every night”, to have a relationship that must only withstand a 9:00-5:00 schedule rather than the nonstop workaholic ways of a small business owner (my boyfriend, not me). I think “how much happier would I be if I had someone to eat dinner with each night?”. I start comparing the aspects of my relationship that are lacking but fail to realize that there are separate parts of this other relationship that would not be ideal (or even acceptable) to me. As I spiral into a sad place where I am forced to dwell on eating pizza alone and falling asleep watching Gilmore Girls, I fail to recognize that I get to sleep next to my BFF every single night (even if he is stumbling in from the office at 1:30 in the morning). I fail to recognize that I have found someone who truly understands my soul, and as a self proclaimed “misfit” who feels misunderstood by practically everyone, understanding is key.
I say all of this not to boast “my relationship is better than yours”, because that sort of statement is just silly (and juvenile). However, I can say with 100% certainty that my relationship IS better for me. I think women have a much more difficult time comparing themselves (and their relationships) than men. Women share this emotional intimacy with our besties that allows us to be so open and raw and candid. The friendship I share with my best girl friends is amazing and I feel so thankful for these wonderful women. Yet, I think this idea of “twinning” in all arenas of life with my friends can sometimes be damaging. No matter how much I love matching my best friends, gossiping and falling asleep giggling in the same bed…our lives aren’t parallel universes. The older I get the more I realize I won’t ever be in the exact same place (or mind frame) as my best friends and that doesn’t mean we aren’t close, it just means we are unique people with unique experiences that form our characters. It’s okay that my dating life is different than my friends, and it’s okay that I’m okay with that. Just as with blog followers and sponsorship opportunities and Instagram fame, the right path for me in a relationship is different than the right path for one of my best friends.
Moving forward I’m vowing to stop expecting my life to look like a duplicate of anybody else’s! What fun would life be if we were all expected to travel the same journey? Have you ever become wrapped up in comparing one arena of your life to that of other people? How did you combat the negative emotions?