There’s a point in everyone’s life when we compare; we compare how different we were three years ago, we compare how different our friends lives are and we compare ourselves to ourselves on a daily basis. I’m guilty of it and with today’s social media presence it’s impossible not to, it’s there, in our faces constantly. Wether it be a comparison of what other people have or even what people don’t have I have to ask, why do we do it?
What good does it do to our lives to constantly compare, to make tiny little observations and dwell on how things used to be, or worse how they could be? To compare ourselves and the things we have or don’t is to place a value on ourselves, it places a notion within our minds that we’re better or worse off and the truth is, there’s no such thing.
I look at how my life has changed in the last year alone and without sounding like I’m awarding myself some well earned self pity, to coin a common phrase, I would never have imagined this is where I’d be. A year ago I was living in my own apartment in London, with a partner of three years planning for our future together, I was well travelled and independent. I was in love and I felt as though I was loved back and I had a job that I enjoyed. My job paired enough to support my lifestyle and I enjoyed it a regular amount for a position in retail mostly due to the people I was surrounded with on a daily basis. My partner was doing something he loved and we were happy with where we were. Now we fast forward a year and I’m living with my parents again, my independence stripped away along with the relationship I was proud of. The partner would sooner move to mars than talk to me again and I work in a job that I don’t see a future in that pays a fraction of what I used to earn. My friends are studying and preparing themselves for their own futures, as I did, but it’s ok. It’s fine, don’t pity me because I don’t. And I’ll tell you why.
I used to be angry, I used to have visions of taking a shotgun to the face of people I thought were to blame. That was stupid, I’m to blame and that’s ok because although it took me a while to get there I finally realised that it doesn’t matter.
I have not lost anything, I gained a sense of self worth that I didn’t think I needed and I learned to do things for myself instead of solely because a partner suggested it was a good idea. I was pushed to limits I was surprised to learn I could be and still manage to enjoy myself. I’ve discovered, through treating myself the way I would’ve my partner, that looking after yourself is more rewarding than having anyone else do it for you. My friends are still there and my family will always be there and no ,after how far you travel or how much you see you ultimately learn the most at home.
During this year I’ve learnt that ultimately, comparing is caring, people can pretend all they want that they no longer care or that they aren’t interested in seeing you make a positive change but by comparing, by shifting the focus fro, yourself onto the choices of others, you’re showing, albeit the way a child would, that you do in fact care.
I haven’t lost anything and I stand to gain even less by wasting my time on comparisons that won’t change the outcome of things. I’m finally doing me and I welcome the success of others because it doesn’t change my story, or ultimately where I’m heading.