Comparison: The Thief of Joy
As a recent graduate, I’ve spent the past several months frantically searching for jobs, trying to kick start my career in God-knows-what and find some way to financially support myself until I figure out what I really want to do. Here is my update: the job market is hell. Apparently “entry-level” now requires two to four years experience, a personal reference from Obama and a blessing from the Pope.
I scroll through social media and encounter peers who appear to be more creative, more professional and successful or more in love than me. I find myself saying, “I should really get my life together” on a pretty regular basis. I pray every time my credit card is swiped that it won’t get declined. I make irresponsible decisions and go to concerts and bars instead of the gym. I spend more time on social media than watching the news and spend more money on alcohol than…well, anything else.
It’s very easy to slip into the habit of believing your life should be grander than it is, but nothing will ruin your 20s more than thinking you should have your life together already. In reality, this is the best time to be a hot mess. Embrace it, and don’t be jealous of those who seemingly “have it together.” I’m here to tell you, nobody does.
So STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS. Your education, your understanding, your journey is different from everyone else’s. You will drive yourself crazy if you continue to Facebook stalk the girl who’s traveling the world or the guy living in a swanky apartment in New York, making six figures a year.
Everyone has a different path. Some of us are looking for a job, hating our current job, adding to our ever-growing student loans in grad school or even living out our dream job. It’s really easy to get caught up in competition and comparison, but don’t ever do anything because you feel like it’s what you’re supposed to be doing. Stay open to different opportunities and adventures, and stay true to you. There is so much power in not knowing what’s coming next, and continuing to compare yourself to other twenty somethings will only distract you from embracing your own journey.