I’ve always felt like I had to be doing ‘something‘. Something incredible, exciting, being the best, etc. But, no matter what, there’s always somebody out there who seems to have one up on me. Always someone who seems to have their stuff together and whose life seems perfect. Always someone I’m just a ‘tiny‘ bit jealous of. My husband tells me I’m crazy when I mention it, but I can’t help it, I’ve felt this way all of my life.
Then, someone posts photos on Facebook of starving children in Somalia and tells me to be grateful for what I have. You should thank God that you have food on the table and some sort of shelter over your head. They tell me that if I’m able to read this, on a computer, then I’m better off than 90% of the world. Le sigh… the yoyo of comparing myself to others.
Isn’t there always someone out there — prettier, smarter, more successful, dressed nicer and has it made more than me? But then, I see some people out there who remind me that I’m glad to be me.
There’s always someone who has one more child than me, and they always seem to remind me how much harder is with X amount of children than with Y. There’s always someone who seems to remember to pack their kid’s homemade, gluten free, organic snacks, while I think my kids are the ‘only ones‘ screaming for food at the playground and sipping water from the foot rinse tap because I forgot to pack their food and water. Hello insecurities!
But then, I read about stories of true neglect on the news and I remind myself that maybe… just MAYBE… I’m doing an ok job after all.
There’s always someone who never seems to get mad at their kids. But some days, I feel like my kids drive me insane all.day.long. Even with every parenting tool up my sleeve, it still happens.
There’s always somebody to compare to.
Silly me. Over the years though, I’ve stopped comparing so much. Whenever I feel that insecurity and doubt creeping in, I recognize it and let it simmer. I know that yucky feeling now, let it brew and then laugh at myself later for getting so caught up in the world. How can I still be so hard on myself after knowing myself for so long?
When I was growing up I imagined I would grow up to be something ‘great‘. It’s what everyone of our generation, especially growing up in America, was told. If you just work hard enough and want it bad enough, you can have anything! You can ‘be’ anything!
Well… what if being ‘something‘ is being a SAHM in my pajamas some days? What if being ‘something‘ is driving a beat up car and having a messy house with piles of laundry everywhere? Is that ok? What if I don’t work regular jobs… like ever. What if I get confused every once in a while about the direction my life is taking? What if I never earn lots of money? What if I sometimes sacrifice short term goals, to make way for something in the bigger picture? What if I used to have the coolest job ever, but I gave it up to do something else? WHAT IF I JUST LIVE AN AVERAGE LIFE? Did anyone think to let me know that living an ‘average‘ life and being happy is ok too?
I’m sort of ticked off that anyone disillusioned me into thinking that I had to do something extraordinary just to be successful.
No amount of wealth, beauty, success, fame, fancy houses or cars matter in the end. Nobody can take it with them.
I have to remind myself of this over and over again. Slowly, through the years, it’s finally starting to sink in. I feel sort of dense for admitting it, but accepting my life as it, has been a very long process. I’m sure I’m not alone. I’m starting to become ok with being MY best.
Whenever I feel myself getting jealous of what someone else has, I just remind myself that nothing here is permanent. And that somebody out there, would do anything to be in my shoes. The grass is always greener.
Anything that can bring you excitement can also cause you misery. Everything that makes you miserable will eventually end too. If someone is beautiful, one day that beauty will fade away. People who have all the money in the world are probably stressed about keeping it and will anyway have to lose it in the end. Even the most famous person in the world, will one day be forgotten. It sounds depressing when you put it that way, but when you think about it, living life, knowing that nobody can take it with you when you go, is actually quite liberating.
Again and again I’ll remind myself of this. Because, again and again I forget and find myself feeling down on myself. After all of these years, I’m really beginning to become ok with being ‘average‘… And, being ‘average‘ is all relative anyway, just so long as it’s ‘average and happy‘. And, by the way, I know my life is not really average, it’s full of wonder and magic… but some days it just doesn’t really feel like that at all.
It’s not to say that I don’t strive for great things. Please! Of course, I shoot for the stars. But, if my rocket never even starts because my kids hid the keys in between the couch cushions… well… I’m ok with that too.