Leave it to Pinterest to spark a little food for thought around here. You may have seen this thought starter because it’s been pinned like crazy and it goes a little something like this: “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” I instantly connected with that, not because of its snazzy font and vibrant graphics, but because I’m currently struggling with emotions that mirror it perfectly. Oh boy, my emotions have become pin-able.
I believe very much that I have a great life. Supportive and adorable boyfriend, sunny, clean, and cozy apartment, loving and caring family and friends, many kind co-workers who are slowly becoming friends; I can list these and more among as blessings in my life. But sometimes I ignore all that in favor of comparing my life to others, usually from being sucked into the myth of perfection online. I lament my lack of solid employment or despair over my large wardrobe that doesn’t seem to have anything cute or new enough to post on my blog. The biggest source of worry and envy comes from the idea that everyone seems to have it all together. Home buying and marriages, babies and raises: why does everyone seem to have these things when I am nowhere near that? I’m lucky to have a few bucks to my name and the ability to go hang at a beer garden this weekend. I’m a good teacher but I’m bouncing from job to job when I long for the security of full time employment and the promise of health insurance and a 401k. I look at my measly blog, nearly three years old and still chugging along on a free platform, with barely a comment to be heard, and a tiny (but awesome!) readership and wonder why I haven’t tried harder and become more successful. The more I look at my shortcomings, the more I feel myself shrinking.
That wayward pin does a great job of snapping me out of it and building me back up into the calm, cool, and collected young lady I am. People may brag about their gorgeous new townhouse, change their profile picture weekly with a new wedding snapshot, and have stats that range in the thousands instead of the hundreds on their blog. But that’s their journey. I am me and my place is uniquely wonderful. I wonder if there is someone out there who is envious of me because I took that leap of faith to be unemployed and pursue my dream of becoming a teacher or wishes they picked up cute pieces that they can mix and match as well as I do. I am going my own way and things aren’t over until, well, whenever they’re over (death or whatever, right?). I still have the opportunity to have it all, whatever I deem that to be, but I have to remember that I can’t have it right when I want it. Hard work and patience are the name of the game when it comes to life. I can’t forget how good my little life is.
So thank you random Pinterest graphic maker for reminding me that “comparison is the thief of joy” (pretty sure that’s another one pinned like crazy). Instead of comparing my life to the online curated life of others, I hope to take joy in the messy, haphazard, awesome one I’ve created for myself, full of its ups and downs and upside downs. And if you’re feeling the same way I am and happen to read this, take comfort in knowing you’re not the only one who’s life seems far from perfect and be happy in that fact. Know too that Pinterest is the life coach for the cash-strapped lady and enjoy.