If there is one piece of advice I wish I had listened to growing up, not comparing myself to others would win, hands down. It took me well into adulthood before I stopped comparing myself to everyone else worrying if I was good enough. The thing is, I could always find someone who I thought was better than me. They had an easier life, better job, or they were gorgeous while I felt like a troll.
It has been a long time since I have felt that way though, and I can’t say I would ever want to go back to that mentality. It was exhausting and I could never feel satisfied because, like I said, someone was always better.
But were they really?
Maybe that same person that I was comparing myself to, wishing my life were as easy as theirs, was comparing themselves to me. From the outside looking in, a person’s life can be deceiving, even if they aren’t trying to deceive you.
I am very happy with my life, but it has not been an easy road at times. I choose not to complain about every little thing that goes off course because, who wants to hear that? There are quite a few prayers that go up in my house that are not voiced to the world, especially this year.
From the outside, Mark got his real estate license, which is great, but he had the opportunity to do that as a result of crushing his foot at work. That was less than ideal because even though he was injured in March, he still cannot walk without pain and his normal activities are practically impossible now. He ran 7 Spartan races in 2017, but in 2018, he hasn’t been able to walk through the mall without needing to ice his foot and stay off it the rest of the day. To someone who doesn’t see that pain and disappointment, they think he’s just the same happy-go-lucky guy he was last year, but with new credentials.
From the outside, I have lost some weight, which is great, but my journey began as result of an autoimmune issue. Over the course of this year, I have had a multitude of health problems, starting with extreme dizziness, debilitating headaches, muscle pain, and no energy at all. I found a wonderful functional medicine doctor who is helping get to the root of these problems and we are working towards reversing them. I can’t say I didn’t cry when I looked at the labs he did and there was actual evidence that explained the problems I had been having. I was so tired of going to traditional doctors who drew the standard labs and told me I was normal. I had to start an extremely strict diet and a series of supplements that I have not enjoyed in the least. To someone who doesn’t know all of that, they think I was overweight because I was lazy or didn’t eat right and now I am losing weight easily because I must finally be dieting. It couldn’t be further from the truth.
These are not the things we share with the world on a daily basis. We like to be optimistic and just move forward. Is that causing someone to look and compare themselves to us in some way? Do they wish their life was as easy as ours? Do they realize, it isn’t easy at all? Even now, I worry if I should share these things, because I don’t want it to seem like I am not grateful for the life I have. I am. There are so many less fortunate than we are.
If everything always went according to plan, imagine how boring life would be anyway.
Whatever part of life you are in, please don’t compare yourself to someone else and their journey. Their current happiness may have been incredibly difficult to achieve, or it might not have, but that shouldn’t affect you. Happiness is infinite, there is no shortage and it does not deduct from yours.
My favorite thing about a candid picture is catching a smile of true happiness, not the false happiness you get when you point a camera at someone and say, “smile”! It’s the same in life, if you work towards being happy instead of looking happy, you might actually find happiness.