To Those Living in the Comparison Culture… Sincerely, Janelle

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All through this week, comparison culture has reared its ugly head in the people I care for (in my job) over and over again.

So allow me to educate on a mass level:

  1. If someone is super successful before the age of 21, they are lucky or a Slytherin.
  2. If someone is settled into a career by their mid-20’s, they are probably a practical-minded person who completed a practical student and career path (nursing, engineering, computers, that stuff).
  3. If someone is successful by their mid-20’s in a creative career, go back to number 1.
  4. If someone is successful by their 30’s in a dreamy work situation, they likely worked their asses off for it, and knew what they wanted.
  5. If they changed careers, it will still take awhile to both stability and passion work. Unless they have that gross luck thing. Or switched to a more practical career.
  6. Most people are NOT lucky.
  7. Most people have to work their asses off. For a long time. Before they get anywhere in a career (I.E. any person who is in their licensure process to be a counselor).
  8. Privilege is a part of this luck thing I named.
  9. Next off, no one is as happy as their updates or pictures allude to. Life sucks a lot, a lot of the time. And these people either create a facade or are just hanging on to their happy moments (ohhh, do I do this. Any happy kernel.)
  10. Just because someone is super stoked about one blessing in a life situation that is completely different than yours, does not mean YOU need that thing to get YOUR OWN life better (i.e. being married or single, kids or no kids, dating or not dating, traveling or not traveling).
  11. If you think someone is prettier than you, THEY KNOW HOW TO POSE FOR A CAMERA. Just because you are an awkward smiler and squint for pictures don’t mean you ugly. It is cliched, but everyone has beautiful traits.
  12. If you are sad about not being in a situation in life you would like to be, stop comparing yourself to other people in those situations. You are you, not them. Do some goal-oriented journaling, get the vision process going, date around, brain storm ways to have them children. Get out there. Take some risks. DO SOMETHING. Don’t let the comparisons freeze you up.
  13. Sometimes you are in a waiting season, that’s fine. But keep fighting for your joy. You might be tired and need to space out your risk taking. But try things in the waiting. You can be patient, content, AND STILL LONG for something else/other things.
  14. If someone has cool things you don’t own, and you have the means, go shopping. But please be mindful of endless impulsive shopping for self-improvement. Having cool things won’t fill the void (like anything of course). If you are sad you don’t have the means, and it keeps you sad, think about seeing a financial advisor who can help you devise ways to save. If you are minimalist, save for those fun trips you get jealous for.
  15. Anchor yourself with friends and community who accept you completely as you are, at the phase of life you are at. If you feel that people are trying to fix you, don’t take that. YOU DON’T NEED TO BE FIXED.
  16. RESIST COMPARISON. RESIST. RESIST. RESIST. Maybe you need to do some soul-searching. Figure out what you like about you. Figure out what makes you stand out. Figure what in you life situation is good right now. The more you are grounded in who you are, the more you can resist comparing yourself to that super breezy looking yogi woman on instagram posing next to a brick back drop with an antique lamp (with 273 likes). SHE’S GOT NOTHING ON YOU.
  17. If you grow envious of the lucky ones and the Slytherins, remember the character you are building that they have less opportunity to gather. Remember you have GRIT and RESILIENCE. Remember that you are a STRONG BAD ASS PERSON. You have had pitfalls and failures. But those failures are absolute musts— they are the best ways for us to have genuine experiences of connection with others. They are key to us being fully alive and authentic people. And failure even helps us figure out what works for us, and what doesn’t. WE NEED FAILURE. FAILURE MAKES US HUMAN.

That’s all I got for now.

Janelle Esposito

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