Did you know I have a cleaning job two days a week to be able to do the things I am passionate about? Did you know that not having a ‘real job’ after having finished my Master of Science degree intimidates me and makes me doubt myself? Did you know I have someone who is dear to me who is terminally ill with cancer? Did you know that sometimes I wish I was more charismatic and less socially awkward? Did you know I am terrified that I won’t be able to transform my passion and creativity into a living over the long term?
There is more to me than what I show on my blog. Everybody struggles. Sometimes these struggles are obvious to one’s surroundings. Sometimes you will never even know about them. I’m not looking for your sympathy. The reason I share these struggles is to illustrate that we all have them, even if you don’t see them. Or perhaps especially when you don’t see them. And these are just a handful I choose to share right now. Imagine the amount of invisible struggles of every blogger you follow, every person you meet on the street, even of the people you love. You cannot ‘wish’ for someone else’s accomplishments without also wishing for the struggles that come with their accomplishments.
The trouble with comparing is, you never make a fair comparison. You will choose one tiny feature of someone’s full personality, characteristics or accomplishments. You will base your image of this feature on the superficial information that you gathered. You isolate it. You neglect the entire history of the person and his/her circumstances that lead them to this place. You neglect all the parts that they are struggling with, either visible or invisible. You focus on this single feature and for some unrealistic reason, you expect of yourself to be at a similar level. Not because you have in any way gone through all the steps that are required to get there, but because you just decided it is where you want to be. You tell yourself it is where you should be. Comparing in such a way is unfair. Not just to you, but also to the person you are comparing yourself with.
It’s perfectly normal to want to improve aspects of your life. Personal growth is healthy and necessary. Role models can help you to direct your growth. Then there are the things in your life that either come natural to you or that you have finally mastered after a long and tedious process. I can guarantee you that there are people who wish they had some of these features too.
Human beings show complex behaviours and characteristics. You might value some of these more highly than others. But one thing that’s certain is that you cannot only have ‘good ones’, whoever the judge is of what is good or not. No one has only positive things. Not you, not your friend, not the random person on the Internet. They all have things in their life they are happy about, and things they wish they could change.
Sharing my struggles makes me feel vulnerable. But if feeling vulnerable means making a statement, than it is what I desire. Next time when you are comparing yourself, I hope you remember this post. Not because I want you to forget my creative and playful side, but because there is always more than meets the eye.
People are incredible complex, intricate beings. When you start lovingly looking at them for who they are, your holistic view of them will decrease your urge to compare yourself. We all have our own path in this life. Sometimes you face more hardships on that path. Sometimes you skip in the sunshine. Sometimes you think the rain will never stop and you wish you had an umbrella. Comparing yourself to someone who has an umbrella is useless to your situation. It is also demotivating. You cannot control every aspect of your journey. You can make tiny steps into what seem the right direction at the moment and try to keep smiling while you walk.