Sorry for the click bait, but this won’t be a listicle of life advice. The truth is that I have an idea of what we can do to stop this kind of self-destructive behaviour, but it’s very difficult for me to make this idea a reality in my own life. So I’ll just go through what happens whenever I start comparing myself with others and set up the decorations for my pity party:
I usually start off my day positively. Maybe I get through a huge chunk of errands and feel really productive. Maybe I do everything I want to do and have extra time to settle into a book or TV show. Sometimes, though, there’s a build up of little not-so-good things that happen to me, and seldom one thing that triggers the following: I end up on the Internet. And that’s when I start creeping old classmates and thinking about how they’re in full-time jobs or jobs with higher pay or jobs that seem so interesting and fulfilling. Or how they’re getting engaged and are in great relationships. Or how they seem so damn happy.
That’s the thing, though. They seem to be happy. They seem to have their shit together. And while that is a great end goal, it’s not just a goal to be happy and to have your shit together. Both are processes, adventures, journeys. We should enjoy life and appreciate that we must go through pain and uncertainty in order to appreciate the joy that comes with living that kind of discomfort. Also, those people probably don’t have their shit together. At least not entirely.
Not to discredit their hard work or happiness! It’s just that what we see online, on social media, is the highlight reel. These images and words are heavily edited and censored to make our lives seem not just interesting, but entertaining and wonderful and something to envy. And you know that doing something simply to incite envy isn’t really good, is it?
Anyway, back to the pity party: after I creep those people and feel sorry for myself, I usually just kind of stew in it. I just sit and let the waves of bad feelings wash over me again and again. Here comes incompetence, followed by frustration and impatience. Rinse with sadness, and repeat. Repeat until I can’t take it anymore and write it all out, listen to music, or do something productive now that I’ve taken a good half hour (tops) to mope around. I usually like to bring floaties to the pity party, since I know I won’t be there for long. I know that I’ll want to escape the tide and go somewhere calm and warm.
It’s great that I’m able to pull myself out of that funk, but I’m wondering how I can stop from getting into it in the first place. Do I keep doing interesting things to make myself busy? Do I keep pushing myself to greater heights in my career and relationships?
My gut’s telling me, no. No, I don’t have to do that. I know that I shouldn’t work on just prevention (at least, not like the above) but also on coping and understanding. I should be kind to myself at the pity party and make sense of why I doubt myself or feel like I’m not good enough. Hopefully I can work my way towards transforming the party to one of celebration.