I have this nasty little habit: I look at other peoples’ lives and compare them to my own.
Shit, let me be honest. I compare my everything to everyone else’s everything. And not just the cliche shit (body, job, car, house). I compare small things, like how jacked up my car is compared to most other vehicles on the road. I compare large things, like how my best friend is married with a child, yet I am blessedly(?) single. I compare my level of play, my style of dress, my eating and exercise habits. I compare my friend circle, my level of income, my fucking work shoes. [I’m in a cursing mood today.]
And every time, without fail, I feel like shit. And it doesn’t matter if I’m on the “better” end of the comparison, because how the fuck can you even define what better is? Yes, I have my freedom, but my best friend created a family. Yes, that asshole’s car is beautiful, but mine is fully paid off.
Whenever I get into one of my comparison spirals, I often yell at myself to stop. I don’t want to be that person who measures their life by the lives of others. I just want to be, and be happy right there, in that space, living in that moment.
But for some reason it happens all the time. All the time.
The worst part is when I compare myself to how I view myself.
While running this morning, I glanced at my reflection in the sliding glass door in our Sun Room. I have this funny little quirk of viewing myself as smaller than my body actually is. As I’m jogging along, I see my stomach, my thighs, my ass, none of which are as I picture them. I spiral, calling myself horrible names, and pretty much cursing my ugly mug.
But then, I looked away. I remembered the people who have called me beautiful, have taken pleasure in my body. I remembered being all dolled up and filled with glee to go out to a party. I remembered looking at myself in the mirror while I brushed my teeth that morning, the little twinkle in my ear, the rested, pleased look starting my day often gives me.
And I remembered why I was jogging. I want to be healthy, to feel better. I wasn’t jogging to try to fit into a size 2. I was jogging because, can you believe it, I actually like it. Starting my morning listening to my music, doing something physical, getting my heart going has come to be one of my favorite parts of my day.
It hasn’t even been two weeks, and I’m loving it. Yes, I get winded. No, it is not easy, but that’s part of the fun too, overcoming the challenge. Every time I step onto that treadmill, with every step I take, I am that much closer to my goal, as ambiguous as it is.
And that’s what quieted my comparison spiral this morning, knowing that how I look now is not how I’ll look in a year, six months, fuck a month from today.
The secondary goal of this little experiment of mine is for me to translate those positive thoughts surrounding my jogging into the rest of my thinking, especially whenever I fall into that hole, looking at others’ lives and viewing mine through their lens. Because I will not be single forever. My car will not always be scarred. My life now is not how it will be ten months, weeks, or even minutes from this moment.
I am ever changing. I must stop comparing and begin embracing, whatever my life happens to look like in the next moment.
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