Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Do you compare too much?

Ok, so I'll wholeheartedly admit that I was a The Hills junkie.  I watched every episode back in college, and it was, at times, the highlight of my week.  There was something about getting in the lives of other people that was so addicting.  But, looking back, it was a strange kind of addiction.  Why do I even care where these people are having lunch, what they're talking about, or what they're wearing?  I compared myself to them in every available way.  (Which is really kind of messed up, especially when you think about how much of the show was actually "produced," -- that is -- not reality.)

I don't think I was alone, though.  The show was explosively popular.  As is facebook, twitter, blogging, instagram, etc.  It brings around this obsession we have with comparing our lives to others.  Especially when we're at pivotal times in our lives (i.e. our early twenties), and we're looking for direction and self-assurance.  We think that looking to others' lives will help us evaluate, justify, appreciate, or criticize our own.  The funny thing is, though, that no two lives are the same in any sense of the word.  Even twins will carry on different life experiences, though their lives are arguably pretty aligned.

Why compare?  Why look for answers?  It takes courage not to!  It takes courage to believe that your life is on the right path, whatever it may be; that not having the answers is actually a good thing.

So, Lauren Conrad hasn't totally left my life.  She writes a pretty dang good blog, and I check in time to time.  She wrote an article that caught my attention, and it talked about the big lessons you don't learn in school.  (Very timely with school starting this week -- yes, lots of her readers are probably in high school.  But I am NOT comparing!)

Here was her #10 piece of advice:

10. There is no such thing as a perfect life.
The overall goal in many people’s lives seems to find the perfect partner, reach the perfect weight, have the perfect job, or wear the perfect wardrobe. The problem is, none of these things exist. Everything has its flaws, and most of those flaws are what makes your life exciting, challenging, and, in fact, pretty perfect if you look at it the right way. Your boyfriend is going to make mistakes, your job will have its down days, and you will have moments where you want nothing more than a full-fledged makeover. Take these moments as positive opportunities to make exciting changes instead of dwelling on the negative aspects. And, enjoy the next chapter that awaits you after these changes do happen.

So, what do you think?  Do you also dwell on the present and future, wondering if you're doing the "right" things?  Perfect would be really awful.  Almost like in the movie Groundhog Day -- if you know everything, and everything runs its course perfectly, you'd go mad!  Let's just take a big human breath and realize we're all in this together.  

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