A Bad Case of the Comparsies

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.

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  1. October 24, 2013 / 1:58 pm

    Well I get the comparsies when you come up with a brilliant blog topic and make me pee my pants from laughter because I can't do that. So just know that people are comparing their life to yours while you compare yours to everyone else's. Welcome to being a human I guess?

  2. October 24, 2013 / 2:00 pm

    Veronica Roth is only 25? WTF. I can't even read beyond that paragraph cause now I'm doubting everything I've ever written and second-guessing all of my stories.

    And it's annoying cause I"m in the middle of the second book of her trilogy.

  3. October 24, 2013 / 2:07 pm

    Umm so Veronica Roth is the same age as me and is set for life?! I am jealous!! But I do love her books! I hope your comparsies clears up soon haha

  4. October 24, 2013 / 2:10 pm

    I can really appreciate your honesty here. I think any artist gets the comparsies from time to time. We're much harder on ourselves than we should be and so completely unforgiving of our downfalls. Most of the time, the things we conceive as downfalls are really the things that make us unique and talented anyway. I think its great that you managed to turn your feelings into positive forward thinking instead of letting it hold you back. This was great motivation for me, thanks!

    PS – love the whole diary of a wimpy bitch thing that made me snort!

  5. October 24, 2013 / 2:17 pm

    Erin beat me to it, but it was exactly what I was going to say. I bet so many people are comparing themselves to YOU. You write the funniest, most applicable blog posts ever. I'm sure there are a lot of other comedian people out there envying your natural talent.

  6. October 24, 2013 / 2:29 pm

    Taylor – you are enough. You are good enough, you are smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like you!

  7. October 24, 2013 / 2:30 pm

    Blah… I hate comparison, and my therapist (lol) always tells me it's an evil part of being human. We just gotta focus on OUR success and what is important to US.
    You, my friend, are successful ini your own way! (and honestly, I have blog envy for you!)

  8. October 24, 2013 / 3:07 pm

    Girl. Stop it. Just stop it. Aint nobody got time for that. You are you. And who you are is awesome. Talented. And freakin funny. I was just telling my friend that lives in Chicago that she needs to watch out for you and go see you at Second City one day. I told her, just wait, she is going to blow up. You are soooo young and you have your own path. I know it is hard not to go to that place. Just keep working hard and stay positive.

  9. October 24, 2013 / 3:27 pm

    I'm with The Baby Giraffe above me….I keep waiting to go back to Chicago for another visit and go in to Second City and realize I "know" you! Then I'll probably go all fan girl and be too embarrassed to talk to you and have to wait until I leave to post it on your blog that you probably won't have anymore because you will be too famous for blogging. Plus your blog is in my top 5 and I've got a long blog list so don't worry, you're doing a lot right!

  10. October 24, 2013 / 3:38 pm

    I do this all the time! I hear ya girl! Thanks for the post and your humor! It's contagious!

  11. October 24, 2013 / 4:00 pm

    Oh, geez! I totally have a bad case of this, too! It's so hard not to compare yourself when there are so many people doing cool things. I think your blog and what you're doing is awesome, though! Does the applause from a stranger help? I hope so:)

  12. October 24, 2013 / 5:58 pm

    The grass is always greener on the other side, right?

  13. October 24, 2013 / 5:59 pm

    The ending image cracked me up, it did. But let's be real for a second here, I think it's only natural to compare with each other, even if we're doing it intentionally or not. I think it's good that you let yourself feel for a while, I have the same stance as you on feeling sorry for yourself, but what it lets you do is reflect on how you can change things and I like that. Also, please never stop writing, you're tone is just the best! x

  14. October 24, 2013 / 6:21 pm

    That diary of a whimpy bitch line just about killed me. Keep it up girl. You're hilarious.

  15. October 24, 2013 / 7:44 pm

    Comparsies are the worst, but I think that we all get them! And your blog is the first one I check so you are definitely doing a lot right! And I laugh at your blog everyday so I can only imagine how funny you would be preforming live!

  16. October 24, 2013 / 7:52 pm

    I love this post!! Every time I read something you write I totally get a crazy case of comparsies, you are living a dream life to me and your blog is totally awesome and super duper well written, I wish I could write as well as you do!!! Plus don't get me started on Harlow!! I love my puppy dogs to death but I honestly cannot get any of them so sit still long enough to take a photo and then I click onto your page and there are plenty of beautifully behaved pictures of Harlow ha ha!! talk about jealous.
    Love Gi

  17. October 24, 2013 / 8:11 pm

    I've totally been there before and still get there from time to time!

  18. October 24, 2013 / 9:11 pm

    Hmm Tay to the Tay.. because I had a HORRIBLE day yesterday, drank ALL night, and woke up this morning at 11AM and began drinking again (no fear, I took a break and cooked some awesome food, in the meantime., oh and didn't drive)– all I can come up with is that You are Awesome! You Rock! And when you are uber famous– I will still want one of your first official uber famous autographs.. and hang in there because Harlow loves you!


  19. October 25, 2013 / 4:37 am

    Diary of a whimpy bitch….Taylor you are so funny! I've been doing some comparsies lately too but I realized the only thing stopping me was me and my "fear". So basically, you just have to be brave and do it. And you've already published a book! You're doing amazing, making all of us 20-something's proud…we make our own careers.

  20. October 25, 2013 / 3:34 pm

    I get them too… Then I realize everybody is half lying and miserable and half happy- just like me.

  21. October 27, 2013 / 12:49 am

    I love this post. I have been feeling the same way lately with everything. everyone is having kids and even though we aren't ready to have kids a little jealousy/comparsion comes up. Blogland is great for comparing each other. it's what we do, but I love your blog and think that you are absolutely amazing!!

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