Recently at a house party, I was introduced to a friend of a friend and while making polite conversation I found out that she was only 20 years old and already had a degree under her belt. If that's not enough, she's also half way through her masters degree. All before 21! Pretty impressive right? Especially impressive in comparison to me, 21 and not a qualification in sight. I've tried two college courses and neither were for me so I'm in the limbo of the working world until I figure out my next step.
Except, that's all a bit twisted isn't it? Feeling the need to make these comparisons and justify my situation? Does being insecure mean that I feel the need to make these comparisons? Or is insecurity the result of these comparisons? (Excuse the rhetoric, I don't necessarily have answers so I'll just pose the questions for some food for thought!)
So where does the necessity to constantly compare myself to others come from? Do we blame society's insinuation that young women are in constant competition? Am I just particularly competitive? Or perhaps insecure? Could it be the insistence that young people must choose their career path at an impossibly young age resulting in an incredibly competitive education system?
Educations, and to be fair lives themselves, are not comparative. What I've learned while taking time out of college cannot be compared to what that girl learned while studying and earning her degree. Each avenues have their own pros and cons and neither is to be scoffed at. Neither is more or less useful/important than the other.
I know I'm not the only one who constantly compares themselves to others, I hear my friends do it practically daily.
I can't deduce the reasons why we feel the need to compare ourselves to others but what I can tell you is this; comparing yourself to others will only result in feelings of inadequacy and a generally toxic mindset so it is no way worth it. You are an apple, they're an orange, both fruit but still different. Each with their own pros/cons/attributes/traits but entirely incomparable.
I know I've only addressed comparisons in terms of life paths/education and there is much more to the whole phenomenon, for example physical comparisons, which are no less toxic. I suppose that will have to be a discussion for another day!
So that is my little bit of wisdom that I learned this week, lives are not comparative and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise needs to re-evaluate their priorities or they'll drive themselves crazy!