For almost this entire week I’ve had a bad case of the comparsies, as in I can’t stop comparing every single thing I’m doing, to every one else who is doing it much better. And if I’m not careful, the comparsies can bring me down faster than an episode of Michelle Tanner getting amnesia.
It all started with a simple article in the Chicago Tribune about a young, extremely talented author by the name of Veronica Roth. You might know some of her work, has anyone read Divergent? I actually haven’t, but I know the book is wildly popular and a movie is already in the works. And Roth is only twenty-five!!! And so after reading about Roth’s insane success I immediately sent myself into a downward spiral thinking about what a complete loser I am I compared to her. I looked at the book I’ve been working on for awhile now and suddenly it just stunk of shit. I hated every single thing about it. I’m at the 20,000 word slump, the place where I’m notorious for tossing whatever it is I’ve been working on into the trash because I no longer want anything to do with it. I’m not going to throw it out yet, but I won’t pretend the thought of it hasn’t been extremely tempting.
So that was comparison #1.
Comparison #2 started on Facebook. Shocker, right? It’s weird because a year ago at this time I was comparing myself to all of my friends buying houses, or getting married, or getting great promotions at work, but I’ve clearly come to a new place in life because now I could care less about any of that. But do the comparsies go away? Of course not. The new thing I like to torture myself with is all of my new acting friends on my newsfeed who are doing awesome shows every night of the week. Johnny has a new improv group performing at a theater up north, Julie just got a new stand-up gig, Karen just made a new team at Second City, Donny is movie to LA to be in a movie! Well shit. It’s hard to compete with Donny LA. And I really don’t mean to compare or even compete with others because there’s really no point since we all have different paths we’re going down, but I’m not going to sit here and act like it’s not something I think about.
And I’m ashamed to admit comparison #3 started right here in blogland. I’m usually pretty good about browsing other blogs, acknowledging that some are a lot better than mine but oh well such is life, and then just moving right along. But for whatever reason this week I jumped on the “poor me” train, I’m thinking it might have something to do with the fact the comparsies had already settled into my bloodstream thanks to #1 and #2 above, but suddenly I felt like every photo I posted and every word I wrote was just meh. Every other blogger out there was just doing it better. Their clothes are better, their posts are better, their photos are more clear, and their stats are better. Boo who poor me. And that’s not a stance I usually take, or am even proud to admit right now that I allowed myself to feel. Feeling sorry for yourself is weak, or at least that’s how I view it. But I’m only human, and these past few days I guess that’s the only way I can describe it, I was feeling weak.
I’m not trying to write the diary of a whimpy bitch here, I’m really not. In fact the only reason I’m writing about this today is because I think I’ve finally gotten a hold on those nasty comparsies I was feeling the past few days. I’ve written about the game of comparison in the past, but what I don’t think I realized then, that I realize now, is that there is actually something positive that can come from this nasty game. And it’s the fact that after I allowed myself to sulk and pout like a meager little baby after seeing how much “better” everyone else was doing than me, I decided nothing good can come from that. It makes me feel like shit and it doesn’t get me any closer to where I’d like to be in life.
So instead I decided to take some initiative and figure out how those people I view as successful got to where they are, what can I learn from them, what did they do, how can I follow in their footsteps? Rather than being jealous, which even though I hate to admit it that’s exactly what I was feeling, why not be inspired instead? More good comes from doing, rather than sulking.
And this is one of those cheesy posts of mine I feel like I can only wrap up by posting this image, while hoping you’ll all play the music that goes along with it in your head. The more you know, the more you live.