I remember seeing engagement rings up and down my timeline before my husband proposed. I would text my best friend with snippy comments about how it had to stop and she would tell me about the 5 other engagements that popped up on her timeline as well. We’d both been in long-term relationships, hers longer than mine, with men who definitely expressed that they wanted to get married. So clearly they were waiting for the right things. Clearly starting with the cash that it takes to buy a ring.
We all see so much more of people’s lives now than we probably care to. I mean, I literally saw Amber Rose’s vagina retweeted multiple times on my timeline. Kids come out of the womb and onto Instagram feeds without the ability to consent. We see lavish trips and smiling couples. And self-care now includes detoxing from social media to remember we also have a life worth living.
CLICK TO TWEET /// Self-care now includes detoxing from social media to remember we also have a life worth living.
We’re constantly reassured that “Comparison is the thief of joy,” which we know but how do we shake that feeling? How do we stop letting Jane Doe #5’s life make us feel like we’re complete losers? Like we were absent the day that lives that looked good on camera were handed out.
The answer is a bit simpler than unfollowing everyone on your timeline or deleting the apps altogether. And listen, I’m here for unfollowing some people. I’ve done it at times when every time I saw someone’s photos I scoffed or felt like my life was nothing. But what I am doing now makes me feel so much more in control. It helps me feel like I don’t have to hide from the world around me.
The key to eradicating comparison is going and getting fulfilled. When you are living a fulfilling life, you will not continually compare yourself to others. Once I was engaged, do you think I cared about seeing people on my timeline getting engaged? And part of the reason I never posted my engagement was that I didn’t want people like the old me pretending to be happy for me when deep inside they were envious. That is energy that you don’t need when making such a big life decision. Then, guess what? Some of the same engagements that I was feeling sad and less than about never were followed up with wedding pictures. Let that sink in a bit.
Now, I can feel your deep side eye here but put your eyes back in their natural position. I’m not saying if you’re comparing, just go ahead and get a husband, it’s that easy. What I’m saying is, I think if you were feeling fulfilled in every other area of your life, it literally wouldn’t bother you as much.
How can I be sure? Well, because there are still tons of things that I see on social media that I don’t have yet. For instance, I am hoping to purchase a home sometime soon but have been super held up in the process of getting everything in order. I mean from random accounts saying they’re open that aren’t to old Comcast bills coming to haunt me. Yeah… we’ll get into home buying in another post. But at this place in my life, I am not turning up my face anytime I see someone post keys to their new house. It’s because I am so much more fulfilled than I think I have ever been in my life.
I had a conversation with the man a while ago and I was expressing my discontent. “I just want to feel like I’m living,” I told him. Then right there on the phone, he said, well let’s make a list of the things that make you feel like you’re living. It wasn’t all these grandiose things either. They went from getting frozen yogurt with him to perusing Barnes & Noble to more costly things like traveling. We then started doing more of these things consistently in our routine. We booked a room on a cruise for next year. Had a Rita’s trip or two. We road tripped to DC for my event which we love because we always have great convos when driving. We went to one of our fave gelato spots. We took control over how we wanted to feel about our lives.
I’m not as far as I want to be in life. Let’s be clear. But something has changed in me. Sure, I still waste more time than I care to admit on social media, but I am not scrolling with an envious heart because I feel good about my life. I feel good about my life. That feels so good to write because it’s taken some real time to get here. I am so much more inspired now by the things that are happening to other people that I hope will happen for me someday.
CLICK TO TWEET/// Sure, I still waste time on social media, but I am not scrolling with an envious heart because I feel good about my life.
I am in a period of awakening. I know I will get the house. I know I will have the chubby-cheeked baby that I can’t stop sharing as much as I’ve convinced myself that my child will not be on social media. I know I will build a community around writing and make a living full-time off the work that I love so much. I have lived long enough to see that the things I have wanted most in life have come to me. Or something better than I expected.
God is good. When you believe that, not just in your head but in your heart, you will not compare. You will not feel cheated when scrolling. You will be able to be genuinely happy for other people. Get that energy off you. Spend some time thinking about what you need to feel fulfilled. Write it down and start going after it with the same energy it takes to be mad or upset that it’s happening for someone else.