Thursday, 9 October 2014

Thursday Thoughts: "Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy"

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪'Take Me To Church' - Hozier ♫ ♪

I have been doing a lot of stalking lately. 
No not the illegal kind [I don't even own a trench coat...], but the virtual kind. 
Most of this "stalking" has been done on Facebook and Instagram where I see former school chums/friends/flames/colleagues doing really well in life. For example, lots have married early, started families, moved out and even become famous. 
As much as I love to scroll through my news feeds and crack a smile when someone announces something great, a part of me can't help but feel annoyed at my own situation. 
It's such an odd feeling because one part of me is super happy for them, but then the other part of me begins to spiral into multiple questions as to why I haven't achieved anything that good yet.
I begin to ask myself things like: "what am I doing with this degree I'm paying £30,000 for?", "Why haven't I done something amazing with my life yet?" and "When are you going to get your shit together, Joelle?". 
Some days I get so worked up about the direction my academic/personal/spiritual life is going, that I just mope around being unproductive and feeling sorry for myself. I know it's not healthy, but feeling "meh" seems to be becoming more-and-more apparent.
But other days, I give my cheeks a good ol' East End-style slap and try to make my days count for something.
I found a quote by Theodore Roosevelt which reads: "Comparison is the thief of joy" - it's like Theo was talking right at me when I discovered that line.
 I have been comparing my life to other people's and it's been squeezing a lot of joy out my life.
With that said, I am glad that I have finally realised something... something monumentally important that I should have realised long ago: there's nothing wrong with me [minus the cold I had last week]. Sure, I might not have reached any huge life milestones, but we're all different and develop at different rates! 
Even writing this post on this blog is kind of an achievement in my eyes - I tend not to let people see through my "tough cookie" exterior.

Comparing yourself to others [especially to people you barely know] is a kind of self-torture and it has to stop! You might be thinking "that's easier said than done", but it's possible to stop.
Firstly, we only see what people want us to see of their "lives". That person could be really struggling with something and we're sat here being jelous and hating our own lives? Naahh, it's a waste of time.
Finally, I should be bloody thankful! Instead of sizing up my seemingly average life to other people's lives, I now try to remember that I have a wonderful set of parents, friends, food to eat and a roof over my head 24/7. So many people don't, so how dare I sit here sulking, acting that my life is a mess when I'm currently typing on a laptop, sliding my iPhone in the comfort of my private university room?

So yeah, for now I might be in a freezing cold city, looking at rocks everyday. But for me, it's a huge passion of mine and I know something great will come from all my hard work. Feeling this psychological freedom after all these years is a joyous experience that I hope we call all find one day.

I've stopped comparing myself to others because I'm not going to let that toxic frame of mind steal another second of the joy in my heart and love of my life!



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