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Sometimes, I just feel like it is important to set quick reminders here. I tend to share very practical tips, but today, I only and simply want to remind you one little tiny thing: you do not have to do what you do not want to do. Okay, that is written, I may stop here. Nonetheless, as I love writing, I will keep talking about that concept a little bit more.
The two problems with comparison
Do you, sometimes, compare yourself to other people? Well, we all do, welcome to the human realm. I could go on and on about the reasons why comparing yourself to others is useless, but I think there are more that enough posts on that topic on the internet already (you can click here to access my own post about comparison). Of course, we are all different and we all live very different lives, so why comparing? It is perfectly useless. However, no matter how sure we are that comparison is useless, we all catch ourselves comparing sometimes – and, for some of us, often.
What is the problem with that? Well, first thing first, comparing means feeling down because more often than not, we compare only to see how “inferior” we are. Personally, I do not know anyone who gets into comparison to acknowledge how superior they are – even though those people must exist. To be honest with you, I think that even if you compare yourself to others in order to get reassured and acknowledge your superiority, that may mean that something is wrong. To feel good, we should not have to put others down – even mentally –, that is not how happiness works. Once more, I digress – oops. I actually want to discuss with you the second reason why comparing is bad for you: you tend to feel not only like you are not enough, but you usually feel like you are “late”.
What does “being late” in life means?
Simple answer? It means absolutely nothing, it is nonsense. However, I have already felt like I was late in life, and nonsensical or not, that hurts a lot. Unfortunately, I know that I am not the only one who has suffered from that feeling. The feeling of being late in life goes hand in hand with the feeling of not being enough, but in a more comparison driven way. You start comparing yourself to another person or with the “average” person, and then you realize that you are different and you start considering that difference as a liability. Does it ring a bell?
I will share with you a little story. As you may know, I am a student, a librarian, a blogger and I do have – hopefully – a personal life. I know a lot of you think I have my life together and in a sense, you are right. However, even I feel like I am “late in life” sometimes. I do a lot, but I do not do what other people my age do and I do not have the same desires, which makes me different. When I focus on my own life, I am the happiest woman in the world but whenever I start comparing myself to someone else, I feel “late”. Yes, I have a degree, yes I speak more than four languages and yes I have a fit body at only 21. However, I do not have a car, I have not bought an apartment, I do not travel the world with only a backpack and I don’t think about having a baby. I have accomplished a lot, but not anything that is on the typical “Things to do in your 20s bucket list”. I personally feel more interested in my master’s thesis than in having my driver’s license for now, and that is okay. I do what makes me happy, but do not think it is easy. I feel like being you is never easy, even though it is the most fulfilling path you can take. Remember: being you can sometimes be painful, but acting like someone you are not will always end up being painful in the end.
Even though you have read this over and over already, remember this: you live life for you, not for the happiness of others. You create your own unique “bucket list”, you do not have to do what does not feel like you just because “that is the norm”. You are your norm.