“Comparison leads to violence.”

I was listening to the last hour of the last Hip Hop is for Lovers podcast of the year when one of the hosts (@Beautybyuche on twitter) said that phrase. She talked about how much it touched her when she first heard it and I couldn’t help but have the same reaction. It touched a part of me that I honestly thought I had dealt with and put behind me long ago. Turns out, I was very wrong.

I have spent my whole life comparing myself to other people. My brother, my classmates, my friends, the people on television, everyone. If I wasn’t the “best” it wasn’t good enough. If I’m being completely honest, it’s something that I find myself still doing. Here I am, married, financially stable(ish), and mom to a beautiful 3yr old but it’s still not “good enough”. I compare myself to other people my age and I view myself as a failure. Since I’m not in school, I don’t have a degree, and I’m definitely not going for a Ph.D., I think my life is a failure.

Comparing myself to others is drastically unhealthy and I know I shouldn’t do it but I do it anyway. That constant comparison has brought me nothing but depression, mental anguish, and more fear than one person should deal with on a daily basis. There are things that I want to do, that I love to do, but I’m too scared to do them because I’m afraid I won’t be the “best” at it.

The one question I’m currently asking myself is “why”. Why do I think I need that degree to be successful? Why do I think I have to be the “best” in order to do something? Why can’t I just be myself and be ok with that? Why do I feel the need to emulate the lives of others?

I don’t have a degree and I’ll probably never get one and that’s ok. I’m not the best writer in the world and that’s just fine. I didn’t have the best or easiest life, but you know what? That life lead me to where I am now. That life gave me one hell of a unique perspective on life in general. I shouldn’t take that for granted. So you know what? I’m not going to do that anymore. I’m going to stop the violence against myself and refrain from comparing myself to others. It won’t be easy and I may slip up from time to time, but I will stop. I want  2014 to be a fresh start for me. Hopefully this small step can help me do just that.

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