In Comparison

Shoes and Petals

Our whole lives, we are constantly being compared to others. When you are an infant, your weight and height are compared against a chart of what is normal and expected. When you are a student, your grades are compared to the rest of the student body. So of course, it follows you as you grow up into a full-fledged adult.

“Who got what job?”
“So and so is getting married!”
“Their home is an amazing neighborhood.”
“Can she even have kids?”

I am very guilty of comparing my life to others. And in the “poor me” way instead of the “my life is better than yours” way. I don’t think either end of the spectrum is great. I’m shooting for the “my life is pretty great” mentality. It is going to take some work and some conscious effort to reach that point.

Four years ago, I made a huge move with my boyfriend at the time (husband now) to a place very different from Minneapolis. A smaller place. A quieter place. It really threw me into the comparison game hard and fast. I saw my friends back home moving on to new and exciting opportunities and places. I felt sad and trapped. Instead of celebrating all the new and exciting things that were happening in my life, I became negative about my situation.

Now that I look back, instead of trying to explore my new surroundings and taking advantage of this new chapter in my life, I squandered it away. Comparison, it is a slippery slope.

I talk about all of this as though I don’t have these feelings anymore. I do. I still on a regular basis feel very negative when I think of what could have been if we stayed in Minneapolis. And I am okay with it. I’m allowing myself to slip up and have those moments of pure homesickness for my city. But now, I am embracing the here and now. I’m making my own new adventures, seeing different sights, taking it all in.


One comment

  1. Better, best, the best… these seem to be an American worldview that compelled us to land on the moon or win a gold at the Olympics. Like many double edged swords… this striving serves us well as we cut through life. As our arms get tired this same double edged sword can hack us up. There is a tipping point, where the thing that is serving us well starts hacking us up. The trick is to recognize the tipping point.

    As for this American, the lesson was to value excellence without comparing. Get rid of better, best, the best and adopt a difference mentality. Appreciate difference, note difference, experience difference. And yes, after taking time, I may even develop a preference. Tasting chocolate and tasting strawberry and knowing the difference … without better, best, the best.

    With this worldview I tend to compare less, experience more (remain opinionated) and stay away from the negative.

    Homesickness – a bittersweet experience. The blessing is having the experience of loving/living a place that holds onto your heart. A call to your developmental foundation making who you are. The challenge becomes creating home, heart, foundation each and every day using who you are in the present moment and sharing your beautiful self with others… .who will be homesick for you.


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