Did you know, years ago, what my night would consist of before sleep? I would lay in bed, turn off the light, set my alarm and then open Facebook and Instagram and scroll through, even though I did it probably 30 minutes ago. And did you know what my morning would consist of? I would open my eyes, and before I could even wipe the crusties, I would pick up my phone and open Facebook first, and then Instagram and scroll through again to see what I missed in the last 8 hours while I was asleep. It was never anything life-changing that I would miss and I never really knew what I was looking or hoping to see, but it was my routine. After a while, I could start feeling the effects on my body and my mental health. Even if I told myself I was only going on for a couple of minutes to look at something specific, a couple of minutes would turn into an hour, and subconsciously I was comparing myself to these lives (most people I didn’t even know) that are only captured for a moment. I was feeling worse about myself and my life before I even stepped foot out of bed! How unhealthy is that!
I traveled and was away so often for many months at a time and when I would return to my city, I would touch base with friends or come across people I knew for years, and have conversations, where I would listen to them talk about the house they just bought, or the engagement ring they just received or the morning sickness they keep having because of the pregnancy, and although I was always truly happy for everyone, I would start comparing my life, and start thinking about my age and where I should be in life at the moment vs. where I actually am. But that’s the keyword - SHOULD be - who says? society? I grew up in a generation where we believed after high school, you would go to University, after Uni you would get that great paying job, you would meet the love of your life, settle down in a beautiful house and have 2, 3 or maybe 5 kids; and that’s okay! But I had to continue reminding myself that if I didn’t follow that path, that’s okay too! Comparing my life to others was stealing the joy from my experiences.
Everywhere you look now from social media to TV, newsstands, and Youtube, people are influencing, and I think it’s amazing that technology has become so big that people are able to live out their dreams and do what makes them happy; but if you are not happy with who you are, comparison can be a dangerous thing. There are so many factors when it comes to growth in your life, and comparison was something I knew I had to stop, and for me that meant self-love. It’s always easier said than done, you know, you see quotes and hear leaders or speakers talk about loving yourself, but doing the work takes effort, and I believe it’s an ongoing journey, but it’s a journey that I am beyond grateful I started on and recognized I even needed to start in the first place. Self-love to everyone can mean something different, but to me, it’s about embracing and accepting who I am. Understanding that me being 4’11 will never change haha. It’s about me speaking love to myself, and stopping with the negative self-talk. It’s about taking care of myself, mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally. It’s about when I realize something or someone is bringing me down - to step away, whether it’s for that moment or to remove completely. It’s realizing that my morning and night routines can affect my life tremendously. It’s about realizing that God made me in his image and that I am valuable and worthy.
We are all so unique and beautiful in our own ways. We all have flaws. Nobody is as perfect as social media makes them seem. Everybody is on their own journey, and everybody’s journey has completely different timelines. So if you ever get caught up comparing yourself because someone you know with the same age seems to be a little “further” then you; remember that everyone's timing is different. What is meant for them now, might not be meant for you at this time; and that is okay. You enjoy whatever season you are in your life and appreciate every moment.