A quote that I like to use with people in my life when they begin to compare with others is “Comparison is the thief of joy”. I’ve heard about comparisons over a bunch of things: career, significant others, salary, etc. To be honest, they don’t have it so bad, but because they compare themselves with others, they seem to think of their circumstance as less than.
Over the past 25 years, coming across their comparitve nature had made me realize the importance of being content with what I’ve got and to not compare with others. I’m that person who is “stressed about stress before there’s anything to stress about”, so why would I compare myself to others and cause more stress in my life? That’s not to say that I’m perfect and never compare with others. I do, but it’s more as a motivation for me to do better; not to be upset with what I’ve currently got going on or to be jealous of the other person. However, recently I realized I was guilty of comparing with others in a negative way as well.
So a little background information: I was always that kid who was the goody two shoes. My high school and university years were spent studying, trying to achieve high marks in all my courses. I rarely went out, never drank alcohol, had poor fashion sense (so I’ve been told many times by my friends), and never really done anything outside my comfort zone because I was a super shy introvert. I was that person who my cousins and brother were annoyed of being compared to 😏.
After finishing university and getting a job, I slowly had the courage to talk to more people outside of my close knit group of friends. With each person I met, the more I realized how sheltered my life was. There were so many things that I never got to experience because I was too afraid of going outside my little bubble. In the last 3-4 years, I got out of my comfort zone and learned a lot and grew as a person. If my high school/university self was able to time-travel to the future, she would definitely be surprised.
In a couple of months, I’ll be turning 26. In my opinion, 25 is the best age to be. You’re not too young and you’re not too old. Now that I’m going to turn 26… I’M OLD! 😦 (If there’s anyone >25 reading this, i apologize, i know you’re rolling your eyes at me right now). With the realization that I’m getting old, I’ve noticed recently that I’ve been unknowingly comparing myself to younger people. For example, I was thinking how my cousin was lucky because at 19 years old, she’s already traveled to so many places. Imagine how many places she’d get to travel to by the time she’s my age. When I hear about the younger folks that are dating, I’d think, if only I put some effort back then, maybe I’d have found “the one” by now. Basically, by comparing to those that are younger than me, I feel like I’ve missed out on many experiences and am running behind schedule.
A couple of weeks ago, my friend (the one that encouraged me to start this blog thing) read my last post about Sri Lanka, and then messaged me saying:
This was funny to me because as I was reading that, I was working a night shift and was bored to death. In 30 minutes, I was going to empty my patient’s urinary drainage bag… oh my gosh, my life is SO COOL! -_- I’d send sarcastic snaps to her of my ‘oh so cool’ life for the days that followed as a joke. Anyways, her saying that reminded me to be grateful for where I am today. Comparing yourself to others just robs you of appreciating what you’ve been blessed with. I don’t know why I was acting as if I’m going to die as soon I turn 26… There’s still so much time to do and experience life. Maybe I won’t feel like I’ve accomplished everything I wanted to do by 30 either, so what? It’s not a race to do as many things as you can before a certain age. Everything happens when it’s meant to happen.
Now I just need to have this self-talk every year when my birthday is around the corner and I’m good. 😛