The Thief of Joy

Monday, March 6, 2017

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We have all heard this saying, right? That the more you compare yourself to others, the more you'll find you're unhappy with what you have or your situation. I've been thinking about this saying a lot over the past week. It's something every single one of us  - no matter if we are envious of another marriage, a body type, a job someone has, financial standing, etc. We all find ourselves with eyes glued into what we see of someone else's life and immediately begin to measure ourselves against that portrait - many, many times we do not measure up in our own mind.

But here's the thing - no matter how much we try to compare ourselves to someone else - we will NEVER measure up. We can NEVER compare. Why? Because we are two COMPLETELY different people on two COMPLETELY different journeys. We have different life experiences, we have different things we, ourselves, battle with. Just because "Susan and John" are in marital bliss and we agonize over why they are so happy and we're sitting in a heaping pile of divorce - we don't realize that maybe they spend their nights crying over infertility. Just because Lisa has the perfect hair and such a perfect, athletic body and why can't we just look like her (but we had kids)??? We don't realize that maybe Lisa is drowning in debt and feels stuck in her life and career. Who knows?

We latch onto one tiny part of someone that we are envious of and we compare. Why am I not enough? But there are a million tiny pieces associated with each and everyone of us that makes us whole. We all have our insecurities, our goals, things that motivate us. And they're completely different than everyone else in this world.

Last summer I dated the first girl since my ex-wife. The first person who I absolutely connected with, was attracted to, and thoroughly enjoyed being around since I was hooked on my ex-wife. This girl not only brought out the emoji heart eyes in me but gosh, she felt like freedom from a nightmare I was trapped for so long. But as our little "relationship" progressed, she realized she still had feelings for her ex-girlfriend. Well, she always had those feelings but it was something she couldn't ignore and still give part of herself to me. She had none of herself she could give me. I was devastated. I literally agonized over the why for months. Why not me? Why her? Am I not pretty enough? Not skinny enough? Not successful enough? What is it about me is not enough to pull the girl I liked away from someone she ended a relationship from? What's sooooo great about this other girl that I'm not enough???? It drove me crazy and I cried so many tears over this.

But here's the thing. It's not that I'm not enough for her. It's not that the ex-girlfriend is more, has more, appeals more. It's that I wasn't FOR the girl I liked. Plain and simple. She liked me. We connected. We had a great few months - but at the end of the day she needed something that I just couldn't provide. And it wasn't that I wasn't enough. It was that I was different. We talked about this, her and I - I was one path and the other girl was a completely different path. And the girl I liked needed to pick the path that matched what she wanted in her life.

And what does that mean for me? It doesn't mean that I'm too fat or ugly compared to someone else. It's that I have completely different offerings and attributes that WILL be a match for someone else that comes along some day.

I'm an apple. The ex-girlfriend is an orange. Seriously, can we compare apples to oranges? Yes they're both fruit but they have completely different tastes. Maybe you want to pair peanut butter with a great fruit and an orange won't cut it ... but guess what goes perfectly? An apple. Maybe you want to enjoy a nice refreshing Blue Moon beer and need the perfect garnish - which is dun dun dun .... an orange! An apple doesn't go with a Blue Moon. But an orange does every single time. (I think my metaphor is getting out of control)

Anyways - the more I found myself comparing to someone else and measuring myself against a girl with literally a completely different life than myself - I found myself getting more depressed and beating myself down. This girl that had no idea that I probably even existed had become "the end all be all" of amazingness and what we should aim to be in life. But that's not the case. I'm sure she has her issues and her struggles. WE ALL DO. And I wish them both a super happy life with or without each other - I truly do.

I've been working on trying to stop the comparison. Stopping letting something like that steal my joy. Being comfortable in my own skin and knowing the only person I need to impress or measure up to is my damn self. Don't let anyone else steal your joy. Don't let someone's "perfect" story make you find cracks in your own.

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