Comparisons should be made downward, not upward, even when you’re comparing yourself to yourself.
For example, when I look in the mirror now I’ve started to notice that I look a little older. I no longer have that fresh perfectly smooth skin of the twenty-something-year-old. I don’t always feel bad about this. I am one of those people who has got better looking as I’ve aged (although from what I can tell so far this seems to be true for all women entering their thirties, but don’t tell the advertising police I said that). Also, looking older has become more important to me after the infantilising experience of going back to university and being surrounded by lecturers my age who assume I’m a 19 year old idiot with no life experience.
But quite often it reminds me of how fleeting youth is and even reminds me of my own mortality. Uncomfortable to get that every couple of days.
As an experiment I tried looking at myself the way my future 80 year old self would and the effect was mind blowing. A complete turnaround. I saw a healthy, robust, beautiful woman who anyone would be lucky to be. The extra pounds I’ve put on since 25 didn’t matter a jot. I realised that one day when my skin is loose and wrinkly and I’ve grown thinner and lost muscle mass, I will remember the curvy woman I once was and how she fretted about having a little extra belly fat and wore jersey’s even in warm weather to try to hide it and found it hard to bring herself to wear skirts or shorts because she thought her calves were ugly and I’ll shake my head woefully at the waste of it all and long to be her again.
I am astonished at my own ingratitude. 5 months ago
How I did it: Honestly, this sort of thing was something that just occured to me. I've had this on my Things list for quite sometime, and today, I just happened to realize how long it's been since I've judged myself based on how another person's acted or looked or had an outlook on a situation. I've spent so much time in therapy and hospitals and clinics working on myself and building strength and confidence and, with practice (lots and lots), comparing myself to others has become a habit I've simply grown out of. It's been a long road with many, many ups and downs, but I guess the work that I've done has truly begun to pay off. Read how I did it… 7 months ago
Two main issues are going on in my life right now:
I travel for work and living. Not fly in, fly out business trips. I mean like I work contracts far away from home (meaning my parents’ place) and obviously have to live there. So the slow kind of travel. Yet everytime I jump on FB and see someone’s photos (because there’s always someone travelling), I get jealous. It doesn’t matter where they are in the world, so long as I haven’t been there. And yet some of those places I wouldn’t go, but still get jealous.
I’m not unhappy with the quality of my experiences (probably because it’s slow travel) and in fact am very happy, but I’m unhappy with the quantity—and the rate. But the whole idea is that it’s slow travel and I know that the others are just being tourists as their travels are their annual leave. You see it now? I want the quality of slow travel and the speed of tourist travel but that’s pretty much impossible short of becoming a career traveller, esp with the number of places I want to go to, e.g. travel blog, travel photography etc. Anyway I think I need to stop comparing myself to everyone else, and that would help bring my expectations down to a more reasonable level.
I’ve always been very happily single. Frankly, I’m scared to be in a relationship because of the independence singledom affords (and therefore my ability to jump around every few months). But at work currently, ALL of my workmates without exception are in relationships. It’s hard to be the seventh wheel. None of these people I think would shout from the rooftops they’re in a relationship (I’ve seen some people do it and it just screams of codependency) but because it’s a transitional period for everyone, it seems like they are when it probably is more like the topic just naturally comes up.
One guy’s just recently married, so he still has his rose-coloured glasses on, the other guy’s relocated down here, leaving his gf and family 1,000km away and his gf will only join him in 2 months or so and he keeps telling us how’s he bored (aka how he’s forgotten to be single), and the last girl’s just gotten a job in her bf’s area, so of course she’s going on about organising their place and how she can’t wait to not have to drive 5 hours every Fri night (or every other) to see him and how she won’t be bored by herself anymore. You see that’s the thing. All of them have forgotten how to be single and entertain themselves, and I don’t ever want to do that when I’m in a relationship. Yet I keep wondering if I should be in one. Argh. Again, I think I need to just shut it out. 9 months ago
This was the major offender… I’ve not been on it since early March… now all I need to do is bring myself to delete my stalker facebook account… 10 months ago
Sometimes I feel like I would have no identifiable personality if I wasn’t trying to be someone else…
JUST STOP and BE YOU10 months ago
because I felt I wasn’t making any progress with this goal. The takeaway message is to compare yourself to yourself rather than to other people. I’m not good at remembering things like this. I always need reminders to jolt me back out of whatever pit I am beginning to get sucked into.
Now that the new varsity year is here, academic comparison has begun to creep back in. So I have printed out my marks from last year and stuck them on the wall. It feels good to see them all there together, a standalone unit, a whole, not nested in among everyone else’s where the temptation is just too much. When I look at that wall, I see only my own striving for excellence. What is equally important is what I do not see. I don’t see mass assessment and how I ranked on that. I hate it when they put up class lists with everyone’s marks. Your marks should be for you and you only. 16 months ago
I left both goals here and let them fight it out in my subconscious on their own. So far, they have come to the conclusion that my class medal goal is more about me than it is about anyone else. I’ve always been one of those people that’s too scared to try in case I fail. Well, this year I have been trying. I went all out. Which is, at the end of the day, all I really wanted from myself.
This goal here is more about dealing with the feelings that come along with giving it your all and not necessarily being number one. I don’t want to feel inadequate if that happens. I want to feel proud of actually going for it for once instead of finding ways to hide or self-sabotage.
I also want to stop only paying attention to the times that I “fail”. I actually have four class medals already, three from my previous degree and one from last semester for the Odyssey course. I’m also quite confident I got this semester’s classics medal. But I never spare so much as a second thinking on those achievements. I think that’s weird and unbalanced. If I’m going to compare myself to others, I could be a lot more rational about it. 19 months ago