Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

I am Queen of Comparison, or at least I used to be and sometimes still am but increasingly less often than I used to be. (Whew!) Why wouldn't I be? Comparison and competition are the American way. We keep up with the Joneses and the Kardashians, speak in terms of haves and have nots and are constantly on the hunt to be good, better, and the best in every field. After years of living the American dream of being better than my neighbors, I am sooo over it!

All my life I've compared myself to someone in an effort to be deemed stringer, better, faster, smarter, prettier, and more worthwhile. I compared my past with that of girls who were living my dream of marrying their soul mate, "They're really religious that's why they're getting married," "They both have amazing jobs and me, not so much, so we can't get married until I get a great job," and my favorite, "We're way cooler than they are." I compared my resume that the resumes of other people who had jobs I dreamed of, "She went to a better/worse school than I did," "He was super involved on campus," or the best most irrelevant one, "Their parents obviously were connected and have money so that's how they got a job that someone like me deserves." I had no idea how insane I sounded comparing my life to that of total strangers.  Until I did, and trust me it wasn't hearing someone else tell me how trapped in insanity I was that let me know how things were, it was finally opening my eyes to the truth that got me right. 

There was no big "Aha!!" moment that broke my cycle of comparing every aspect about myself to everyone around me, including my friends who in the grand tradition of girls were my favorite people to compare myself to. Actually I stopped comparing myself to others when I realized that there was nothing to compare essentially. I mean, I am not any of those people and I do not need their qualifications to get anything I need in MY life. They may need their qualifications for THEIR life but the ones I need for my success are unique to me. Hence the term MY life. Seriously, you cannot measure your life against someone else's because not only is their life path completely different from yours but their soul has a totally different purpose and they probably have a different set of goals to fulfill. So if you can't compare your life to someone else's what should you compare it to? Nothing. Your life isn't good or bad, right or wrong, it just is and every experience you have shapes it into something that you could have never imagined in your wildest dreams. Even your past experiences are a poor measuring stick because you are not your past. Perhaps you were your past but you are not your past. Just live the life you have and enjoy every minute of it. That's really all you can do.

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