Do It For Yourself, No One Else Can
Allison and I would like to introduce Kristin. She's a new NeonBabe and today we are sharing her raw and encouraging story about self-reflection, and positive self-change. Sometimes it's hard to love ourselves, especially in a world filled with tweets, snaps, and posts. Kristin shares how this negative social comparison made her realize that she, and she alone, is in control of her destiny.
Comparison is the Thief of Joy
I have noticed a large number of women updating their social media outlets with either a status and/or a picture illustrating the belief they should have a better handle on life. I'm guilty of it, too... But I'm writing this to help us STOP! This trend seems to occurs at the magical time of women's late twenties and early thirties. We, as women, feel like we are going to be arrested by the society police if we don't have a fairytale marriage and a corporate job to boast about. Polishing off a pint of Ben and Jerry’s can be a walk in the park while scrolling through Facebook; looking at someone's new home, new car, new engagement ring, etc. until the comparing gets to be too much. Let's all do each other a favor, before we log on to our Pinterest account and copy fifty engagement ring pictures to email the boyfriend (or copy to a folder until you meet said boyfriend), stop for a hot second. Let's remember the side we're not seeing. Maybe a girl you went to college with got engaged today, but maybe you and your boyfriend have ten times the better relationship they do, or perhaps you are happier solo than she will ever be. Your high school classmate might have purchased a new Mercedes, but maybe they are beyond stressed because they can’t afford the payment. There are two sides to every story. We only see that Jane has a new house and a new car... but we shouldn't allow this to make us sad because we still share an apartment with two other people and drive a 1991 Oldsmobile. Vroom vroom.
An article I read recently contained a quote which hit me like a ton of bricks: “comparison is the thief of joy.” Theodore Roosevelt nailed that one. This made me realize something... Sometimes we feel like we should have ‘this’ by now or we should have done ‘that’ already, but really, who is keeping score? We should never rob ourselves of our victories, no matter how small they are by comparing ourselves to someone else. So what if we don’t know what we want to do when we grow up? Rather than waste time fantasizing about what we think can bring us satisfaction, we should focus on the journey and relish in the valuable learning experiences we make along the way.
For years I put myself on the back burner for boyfriends, never doing what I needed to do for myself. I'd focus on them and their needs and their wants. About a year ago I decided enough was enough. I decided it was alright to be selfish, to take care of myself first. This change was rough... and in the beginning I was unhappy. I felt every negative emotion possible when I started to see all of my friends get married, build homes, go on vacations, have children; meanwhile I was single and had about twenty dollars in my bank account. Yes, I was happy for them, but at the same time I was mad at myself. I was mad that I didn't take the same steps they did. I was mad because I had lived on my own since the age of eighteen, had zero help paying for college, yet I had my opportunities and didn’t seize them. My friends didn’t pass up a scholarship for a guy, I did. My friends didn’t date people who were unsupportive of their hopes and dreams, I did. But hey, I lived and I learned! And I made the conscious decision to put myself first. And it's the best choice I've ever made! I soon stopped worrying about what others had and what they were doing. I took the leap towards slowly building a new life for myself. And I must say, I'm doing it and loving every moment!
My experience has taught me very valuable lessons, and I hope my story influences others to do the same. If you want to change jobs, change jobs. If you want to eat cake for dinner, eat cake for dinner! This is no one else's life but your own! I encourage you to eat lunch or dinner alone. I encourage you to go to a movie by yourself. Heck, go travel solo! It’s impossible to take care of anyone else before you take care of yourself. Amazing things happen when YOU open up to YOU and start believing in positive change.