Unless you reside under a rock, you are probably around people on a consistent basis. These characters may have a successful career, a family, financial stability (or freedom), fame, a good support system, many friends, good looks, a significant other, material wealth, or love. If you are on the internet, they could have “followers, subscribers, likes, friends, and comments.” Of course those are just a few examples of what people may have in their lives. As technology evolves, it is now easier than ever to compare our circumstances to someone else by just a click of a mouse or keyboard. So the question then becomes, Why do we put so much emphasis on a life that is not our own? There are so many reasons why we compare ourselves to other people. For many, we do it out of insecurity. We place a judgement on our own lives because we see other people who have what we want in life.
When I was younger, I used to question why others had it so much easier than me. Why was it easier for them to make friends? At school, how do classmates study for an hour and ace a test but when I study for three hours, I flunk? Why do students not get bullied or made fun of like I do? How are they any different from me but I get a label stating that I am the weird one? How do people know what they want to do with their lives but I have no idea what I am even going to wear tomorrow? While those high school kids went off to college, graduated, and started their new careers, I was in and out of a local community college. I changed my major on four separate occasions. As kids grew into adults, marriages started occurring which lead to babies being born. A community I had grown up with, now had additional chapters being written in their book, while I was still on section one. I started to resent others for the life they were living because they seemed so much happier and knew what they wanted to do with their existence.
Comparing does not always involve material things or the way someone thrives. When we compare ourselves, we can also over analyze appearances. Many times when I looked at another woman, I told myself, “Whoa. She is so much prettier than me. No wonder I am not in a relationship if that is what I have to compete with.” Men are not excluded from this either. Recently, I encountered a man who became jealous of a male co-worker because a woman did not find him to be as attractive as the guy he is envious of.
It has taken me years to finally stop comparing another person’s journey to my own. The same can be said about examining myself in contrast to a woman’s outward image. I have realized that my time on this planet is not meant to be like that of another. Analyzing myself over what another girl looks like or their lifestyle, only brings negativity into my world. Inevitably, it brings in the feeling of resentment which will just take me off my path even more because I am not focused on moving forward. I am an individual who has her own ideas, thoughts, feelings, expectations, and goals so why should my experience resemble another human being. Every inch of my life has been a fight. Every time I think I am going somewhere, I end up taking a giant step back. So I get back up one more time, only to face another obstacle in front of me and the cycle continues. I may get frustrated and impatient but I know the grief surrounding my situation will be worth it in the end.
In order to break this cycle of negativity, it all starts with your attitude involving your own course and the way you think about yourself. I think we need to be accepting of ourselves, first and foremost. Accepting that we are all unique in our personality, body types, and the roads we walk down on. Then the next step, is to start encouraging each other for their accomplishments or in their struggle. I think it is comical when we see only the joyful times in a person’s life but we never see the hardships behind closed doors. We never think that they battle too because we do not see it in reality. Though, we all have our trials. If we start focusing on being more of an encouragement or happy for someone else, then it will reflect back onto our own livelihoods. Think about it this way. If you put negativity out there, you will most likely get negativity back but if you put positive energy out, the world will give it in return. I suppose that is what karma is all about? It may not make sense to you now but please believe, that it does work.
I truly do have faith that everyone who is born in this world, holds a specific purpose in their soul. Some may know what it is and may be fulfilling it now as you are reading this. Others may still be searching for theirs. Wherever you are on this expedition, remember that we all have our own timing. Some individuals get their faster while others need to learn a few things before they reach that first destination. Do not be discouraged by your own life. Grow and learn from it. As the saying goes, “With age comes wisdom.” Finally, I find this quote below to be inspiring. It may help someone gain a different perspective on where they currently are in this crazy odyssey we are on.
“I know people who graduated college at 21, and didn’t get a salary job until they were 27.
I know people who graduated at 25 and already had a salary job.
I know people who have children and are single.
I know people who are married and had to wait 8-10 years to be parents.
I know people who are in a relationship and love someone else.
I know people who love each other and aren’t together.
There are people waiting to love and be loved.
My point is, everything in life happens according to our time, our clock.
You may look at your friends and some may seem to be ahead or behind you, but they’re not.
They’re living according to the pace of their clock, so be patient. You’re not falling behind, it’s just not your time.”
– Julissa Loaiza