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Compare And Despair

I’m tired of comparing myself to other people. I can look to others for inspiration or instruction, but I refuse to envy anyone else or criticise myself for not being more like them.

When you look at people on TV, or social media, it’s easy to forget that they’re only showing you what they want you to see. The internet is choked with images of unattainable beauty and seemingly perfect lifestyles. But people rarely put their real-life struggles or flaws on public display. When you see them, you’re only seeing a tiny, carefully chosen, artificially-enhanced fragment of their lives.

Comparing myself to an impossible standard is an express-pass to frustration and self-loathing. In fact, that is the entire purpose of the advertising industry. The more they can make you feel like you’re not good enough, the more you’ll buy their products in hopes of looking like their impossibly perfect airbrushed models. You need the right car, the right watch, the right clothes. You have to be seen at the right clubs and eat at the right restaurants. They want you to believe that you’ll never have love, acceptance, connection, or approval looking the way you really look and living the way you really live. They make money off your insecurities. That is the definition of a parasitic relationship. And they have a huge financial stake in making sure that you can never achieve the unattainable standard, which is why styles and trends are constantly changing. You can never spend enough money to have “all the things” that will supposedly make you happy.

The constant message of “you’re not good enough” keeps us on an endless treadmill, going nowhere and getting exhausted trying. It keeps us hating ourselves, demoralized and jealous of others. Well, I’ve spent enough of my life hating myself, and I refuse to do it anymore. And if the only way I can have love and acceptance is by pretending to be someone I’m not, then I’d rather be alone and happy because those people don’t really love me anyway.

The only person that I have any business comparing myself to is me. My past self, and my future self. I want to be able to look at my past self and say, “look how far I’ve come!” And I want to be able to look at my future self and say, “look how far I plan to go... and I CAN and WILL get there!” The process of striving to improve myself will never be over, but it will be me who decides what I want for my life. Not a Hollywood superstar, and not an advertising campaign.

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