I’m one of those, who are ever ready to tell you how you shouldn’t compare yourself to others because y’all are on a different journey and all those cliché stuff we all say at some point. It’s not that I don’t believe that statement. It’s a fact: we are on different and distinctively customised journeys. There’s no valid basis for comparison.
There are more reasons why I tell myself not to compare myself or my life circumstances to others, no matter how capriciously justifiable it may seem.
I tell myself: Each of us has a different arrangement with God and with destiny. That this person has it all together in one solid piece now doesn’t mean that it’ll be so in the next how many years. That you can’t seem to strike that fortune just yet doesn’t mean that you won’t ever. Your timelines are different, so work with what you have in front of you. Sometimes, I even take it a step further: What you see now and you desire is small in comparison to what is to come for you. Be patient, Manuella. God is not sleeping.
Now, these are only a few of the pep talks I give myself when I catch myself, more often, having finished comparing myself to someone else, or right when I start that train of thought.
But today, I’m having a different talk with myself. I couldn’t even make out what my precise sentiments were ☹️.
One minute, I was like, Awww! Look at these people, so happy and jolly! But they didn’t even invite me ☹️. So I reminded myself: 🙄 Just look at you! Aren’t you the one that goes to lengths just to make yourself unavailable in their social circles? You built an entire city around your fortress, and then built a fortress around the city! So what are you complaining about? Meanwhile, you wouldn’t have been able to attend! You were at work, after all 🙄.
So I snapped out of my self-centered thought. I think I do this quite often.
I was then forced to examine the way I felt initially; how somewhat entitled I felt. I also had to examine how I felt after the reflection on how I had a significant part to play. Initially, I felt like, Why was I on my own? Why doesn’t anyone invite me to any of these things? Why doesn’t anyone remember I exist? Why don’t I get called out?
The honest truth is that these people are people that I would not have wanted to see because they would be looking to catch up on things that I don’t consider their business anymore. Another thing is that they’d want to rebuild friendships that I was only too happy to let go of once upon a time, and am not particularly optimistic about rekindling. You’d be amazed the lengths I go to stay hidden from and invisible to some people, especially people from a part of my past I wasn’t too enthusiastic about 🙈.
Essentially, the things we see in others and wish for are sometimes not ours because we block them from coming our way (which we will never remember when we’re indicting ourselves for being unfortunate). Some other times, we forget that people have things they struggle with, which are blessings we effortlessly enjoy, and whose “blessing” status we don’t even recognise because we’ve never had to seek those things. These people whose shoes we so badly wish to wear have sores for decades under their feet, but we only see the Zanotti and Louboutin shoes and whatever else we see on their feet.
But what is worse is how all this comparison makes us feel about ourselves, whether or not we realise it. I may not be able to list them all, but there’s nothing positive about the way it makes us feel. Among others, comparison makes us feel unfortunate, victimised, ill-fated. We may, we may not be. But I believe that I’m not any of those things.
So, when next we ask ourselves, Why does this person have everything I want?, we should remember to ask ourselves, What if all the things I enjoy are the very things s/he lacks? What if I’m not ready for it yet? What if it isn’t all it’s made out to be? Life is not fair, as you know. We can’t exchange our good health, riches, perfect sight, working limbs and co. for someone else’s (whatever it is), neither can we always have what we want.
Just know that in due time, what’s meant to be yours will be yours, with all the effort and appropriate attitude. So, do what you can while you can.