Comparison really is the Thief of Joy

Let me paint a scene.... it’s Thursday night, you are at home, kitchen is cleaned, dog has been walked and feed, you have a throwback Thursday playlist pumping classic tune after tune when you hear a knock at the door. You open the door and it’s your old enemy – Comparison.

Yep, Comparison… it will get a gal every darn time…. But why? Why should it get us, make us feel like we aren’t good enough, that we should be doing something else rather than what we are doing, compromising our self-esteem? I mean the only time comparison is good, is when you look at your sister’s chocolate brownie to realise it’s bigger than yours, so you order a second piece.

Recently I celebrated a scary birthday, but it was only scary because in my head I had let comparison conversations creep in about what my life should look like, feel like, smell like and anything else that society thought I should compare myself too. A few weeks after I got over birthday week (yep, it’s a thing), I was scrolling social media when something popped up I wasn’t expecting to see and I spent the next 2 hours crying down the phone to a friend with brownie crumbs in my sheets, comparing my life to that person and any other person that was ‘better than me’, ‘more successful than me’, ‘had their sh*t sorted more than me’ etc etc etc.

After a respectful amount of tears and time had passed, my girlfriend interrupted me to tell me to dust the crumbs off and for goodness sake, clean the streaking mascara off my face because I was better than other people. By better she meant, I was a bigger person rather than comparing myself to anyone else, we all are!

For years, I have tried to live my life on my own terms, running my own race, doing what I wanted even when friends questioned if I was making a good adult decision. For all intense purposes I am my own person but like everyone who has highs and lows, strengths and weaknesses, and measures success differently, I felt I was at war with my arch enemy – Comparison.

After dusting the brownie crumbs away and bleaching the mascara tear stains out of my new sheets, I sent a text to about 8 girlfriends that I knew would have my back, asking them to remind me why my life is awesome just the way it is and how I could kick my enemies butt metaphorically. The responses I got back left me speechless, which is hard to do. My girlfriends not only knocked my enemies butt with their responses, but they bowled me over on my own butt with support, love, encouragement and a good dose of ‘pull yourself together because you are amazing’.

The reason I share this is because success is measured differently for everyone. For some, it’s having a few children because they always wanted to be a parent. For others, it’s living your life out of suitcase and the world is your home. For another, it’s reading books to educate themselves, so they can have a thought-provoking conversation with someone. It could be being a loyal friend and people knowing you can be relied on when times are tough. Or maybe it’s not using plastic in your home anymore and eating home grown veggies.

My point is that we are all amazing, brave, strong, beautiful, intelligent people, but we are all these things if we are living true to how we feel is good in that moment. You don’t have to stay the same person, live the same life, do the same thing because there is no statue of limitations on starting over. Re-invent yourself whenever you want. Be the person who walks barefoot and listens to soul music. Tomorrow, rock a killer power suit and speak your truth. The day after that pack your bags and go on that trip.

Be a phoenix. Be ashes. Burn Down. Resurrect. Let go of the idea that you must always be who you have always been and be the person who runs their own race and kicks comparison’s butt.