Comparison is a Bitch, Man

We’ve all heard the quote: “Comparison is the thief of joy” by Theodore Roosevelt. If you’ve never heard this one before, you’re welcome. 

Ever since coming across this six word, seemingly inconspicuous sentence, my view on comparison has been utterly transformed. I think I’ve always known, we all know, that comparison kills the joy you possess for what you have in life. 
But, it’s just a subconscious understanding, only nibbling at your consciousness when you feel like poop after comparing your cracking pleather Target purse with your friend’s (still nice) pleather Coach bag.
So, I’ve always known on a deeper level that comparing myself with others never ends well, but it wasn’t until reading that quote did it marinate and sink in.
But, because I’m me, it was not a quick fix. I still compare myself, despite knowing it’s not helpful. This is akin to eating a donut everyday for breakfast. I know it’s not good for me, yet I still have chocolate cake donut in the corners of my mouth on a daily basis. 
I’m about to be real with ya’ll.
(I think by now you’ve probably gleaned that this isn’t my usual satire post. I hope I haven’t lost any of you from forehead-on-keyboard boredom.)
Lately, despite considering that quote on a regular basis, I’ve been comparing hardcore where I’m at in life, and with my blog with literally everything and everyone I deem “better” than me. 
Here are some examples:
So and so (x 10) bought a house, so now I feel like I’m failing at adulting. Some of my friends and acquaintances own more than one bed and the latest front-loading washer and dryer. The largest appliance I own is a fucking microwave. It’s easy to get down when you aren’t there yet, despite trying really hard to be. It’s especially fucky when you’re in your mid-30s and you’re still not quite sure how to become a real adult. 
So and so goes on luxurious vacations twice a year and I’m just over here like, “I went to IKEA in Sacramento…” It’s too easy to feel anxious and stir-crazy jealous when you witness endless world traveling on Facebook while you sit on your couch with a pint of ice cream and your only door, at the moment, to the rest of the world-Karl Pilkington and An Idiot Abroad. 
So and so can wear a tank top without fear of knocking over someone with their swinging turkey wings. This ones rough, because nice arms can be obtained, but it’s harder than all the effort needed to achieve everything else in this post combined. 
So and so has thousands of followers after less than a year and gets hundreds of likes on their posts in less than 24 hours. When I come across crazy successful bloggers, I wonder what I’m doing wrong. Why have my posts never gone viral? Why have I never been Freshly Pressed on WordPress (and what is that even)? It’s almost scary how easy it is to compare yourself with other bloggers. When I do this (all the fucking time), I instantly feel less than or worry I’ll be completely irrelevant tomorrow*. 
After many discussions with my blogging buddy, An Historian, I’ve decided enough is enough.

Not only is comparing myself to others depressing, it’s killing my inspiration to be creative in my own unique way. 
It’s time I re-read, more than usual, if necessary, my favorite quote. Here are some truths I’ve learned since my comparison-quote-awakening:
1. Apartment-living ain’t half bad. Not only do I never have to pull a single weed or replace window screens with my own money, when I plug up the toilet beyond basic plunger repair with my abundant toilet paper use, I can call the landlord, instead of the plumber. Also, some people live in squalor. I have granite counter tops in my bathroom. Basically, appreciate the shit you have. Also, if I’m ever destined to own my own house, it’ll happen when it’s meant to happen. 
2. So many other less fortunate people in the world would kill to have my TJ Maxx special, but they’d use it to carry food home to their starving family. Buck the fuck up, baby! 
3. Further, it’s not about the material. When you’re dead and gone, your more-than-my-rent-expensive handbag might find its way to a thrift store where some meth head might steal it to store their meth. Or, some careless person who gets pen marks all inside might own it after you. Shit, maybe it’ll find its way onto the giant ocean garbage mountain and some Humpback Anglerfish might use it as its home. Did your bag really matter that much in the grand scheme of things? The answer is “no”**. 
4. Travel is one of the most sought after things in life. It’s worth it to skip the Starbucks to save a few bucks that can quickly turn into a few hundred bucks. All of that can be used to go somewhere that can mean more than any material object (even an OmbrΓ© Pink Drink). 
5. My body isn’t perfect and never will be. Other than a few freak alien exceptions (Candice Swanepoel anyone?), we all have imperfect bodies. We all have body parts we wish were firmer, smaller, bigger, flatter, etc. Whenever I get to feeling really self-conscious around taught-skinned gorgeous women, I pretend they are hiding a huge skin flap on their butthole (I saw that on an episode of Embarassing Bodies, so that’s a thing now). Also, we can’t all be hilarious and gorgeous. 
6. Comparing myself with other writers, especially those in my same genre is the most detrimental comparing I do. I’ve decided that just because someone else is an exceptional writer and is genuinely funny, doesn’t negate the fact that I can be too. I have my own style and so does the next funny guy. We can all be funny. We can all support each other. Kumbaya and all that shit. 
7. Finally, there will always be someone who has better, looks better, and seems to always have all the luck. On the flip side, someone is probably looking at me, thinking, “Why, oh why, can’t I be like that magestic beast?” 
OK, that last one made me choke on my oatmeal cookie Halo Top. 
But, you never know.
Life is mysterious. Live your life in a way that makes your heart sing, your creativity blossom, and your belly feel happy and full without worrying about anyone else.
Fuck yo couch. 
*This in no way denotes that I do not appreciate the massive recognition my blog gets from my amazing supporters. I love you all times one million cupcakes. *muah*
**If you love material things, don’t be offended. I love the shit out of material things. Why else am I at Target every weekend scrounging through the discount bins for my 1,453rd cute pencil/magazine/flower/makeup/whatever holder? I feel you. 

81 thoughts on “Comparison is a Bitch, Man”

  1. This post is simply perfect. It’s something I’ve been struggling a lot with lately and it ended up with me unfollowing everyone on Facebook/muting almost everyone on Twitter/etc. because I just couldn’t deal with the noise of it anymore. It only made me unhappy to wonder what I was doing wrong, especially blog-wise. I can’t post every week because I’m the slowest writer in the universe and I felt bad everytime I saw someone talking about bi-weekly post schedule… Then, I unfollowed all that and remember that I write in a language that is not mine so there’s that y’know. But anyway… All that to say, I totally get you. It’s hard to stop comparing but it feels so good to disconnect a bit and remember that what we have/do is as good as everyone else, or better even! I love this quote that says something about the beauty of another women doesn’t shadow your own… It applies to almost everything. And… Social media is so not the truth – we rarely show how bad we fail, we shocase the best of our lives. Personally, I’d give anything to have you way of writing and you sense of humour! Oh, and living so close to such majestic hiking places is not bad either… πŸ˜‰
    Not your usual satire, but one of my favourite post of yours! xx
    P.S.: Sorry for the novel-comment!

    1. This hit HOME. It just did. From start to finish. I am one to easily fall into depressions for ALL those reasons except purses because fuck purses right? And I feel even WORSE once I realize the stupidity of it- which ends up not helping either way. Lol. Sometimes it’s like “man. I just can’t WIN!” But that usually happens whenever I lose sight of the “bigger” picture. I completely appreciate this post. Much needed lady.

    2. I love novel comments!!!! I really need to do some disconnecting to drown out the noise like you’ve done. I bet that’s good for the soul. Your blog is perfect. I don’t think the frequency in which you post always matters. In fact, I know certain bloggers who post like once a month, if that and they have crazy likes and followers. So, it’s something else that I just don’t get! I totally agree that social media only shows one side, for sure!! Thank you, my friend ☺️☺️

  2. I’m reading this, after having two offers on our house fall through, and feeling like I never want to own a home ever, ever again. Owning a home is great until it isn’t, which is true of all things. And, all that social media crap is bullshit anyway. I’ve got at least five filters on every picture I take of myself. LOL! You are a majestic beast, bitch! And don’t you forget it.

    1. That’s what I hear about owning a home. There are two camps-pro house owning and anti house owning. Some people swear that owning a home is the only sensible thing to do, while the people with their free weekends not doing yard work don’t agree at all!! Thank you, my friend ☺️☺️

  3. This is such an important message!! I have to remind myself multiple times a day, comparison rarely benefits anyone. I do have so much to be thankful for, and letting it get lost in the clutter of “this person has better shoes (or whatever” seems petty when I put it into that larger picture.
    It’s especially true when it comes to blogging- I think it’s largely luck when it comes down to it. You can use all the right tags, the right titles, the right images, share in the right places, and still see nothing come of it because it maybe didn’t land well or people are on vacation and not keeping up or it just got lost in a feed. Blogging should be FUN, and comparison definitely kicks fun in the ass until it leaves, never to return! I’d rather have a handful of followers that I interact with regularly than thousands who drop a “great post” and then hit the bricks!

  4. I think it’s natural for us to compare ourselves to others and as you alluded for others even to consider us standards of their comparisons. It’s life. It happens. Oh but how you summarized your results (I never really thought you could hide skin flaps there, but then, I never really thought about thinking about that) are not only hilarious but healthy. And thought-provoking to boot. (Really? There? Hmm.)

  5. “Life is mysterious. Live your life in a way that makes your heart sing, your creativity blossom, and your belly feel happy and full without worrying about anyone else.”
    Boom – there you go. That’s my attitude in a nutshell. I wish more people thought this way.
    But seriously – you go hiking, to weird places, have fantastic Family Trips of Horror tales, and you’re funny. What’s not to like about this blog? I love it!

  6. “There’s always a bigger fish.” Qui-Gon Jin
    Yea…I sometimes live my life in movie quotes…but that’s OK, because it’s my life. This is one of my favorite mantras…because it fits so well in many occasions.
    Your observations on apartment dwelling are right on par with my own. If the furnace goes out, or the dishwasher starts to make funky noises – I don’t have to search for a repairman or wonder where the money is coming from to pay the fella – I just pick up the phone and bitch to the landlord. Not that I wouldn’t eventually love to own my own home again…but for now, I’m happy being a tenant. I’m free to go to the farmer’s market on saturdays, or hole up and chainmaille on a snowy day – instead of burdened with lawn care and snow shoveling.
    Comparison is akin to the competition drive that’s hardwired into the human psyche…one of our more spectacular failures in design, if ya ask me.
    Stay you…we all lurvs you just the way you are!

    1. I’m glad I’ve got a fellow renter who understands! Yes, I was just thinking that comparing must be an innate trait that we once needed for survival or some shit. Thank you for your kind words ☺️☺️

  7. Katie – I love this and I totally feel you boo! I get this way too: wishing I was thinner, more attractive, a better blogger, lived in my own place, etc etc. And you are so right, it’s exhausting to keep that up. So I’ve decided that my body is just going to have to be my body, I AM pretty gosh darn cute, and all the rest of life and blogging is pretty great! I started that gratitude journal…which lasted two weeks until I went on vacation and it’s still kind of hidden from packing up my old room….maybe I should start that again…get some extra gratitude going…

  8. First, you are a teacher. You don’t make a lot of money, but you make an actual difference. That hedge fund manager just makes money. Fuck that guy. Second, you always get way more interaction on your blog than I get on mine. I compare myself to you and come up short, so be happy with where you are on that count. Third, you’re a funny, funny bitch. Don’t ever doubt that. We all have posts that are hilarious and blah, meaningful and blah, earth shattering and blah. Fourth, no one loves their body, but everyone loves donuts. Even if you skip the donuts, you’re still going to hate your body. Might as well enjoy the donut. Fifth, I heart you, just the way you are.

  9. I really could relate to this one. I can compare myself right into gloom and doom. My whole being suffers, this made me look at it , differently. Thank you so much. “Special Secret” I compare myself to your mother allot. Amazing lady. No more i will think positive,and move forward. Pattie

  10. I needed to read this today because it’s been my state of mind lately too. It’s trite, but it really is true that the “grass is always greener.” I’m happiest when I stop measuring myself using someone else’s yardstick. My blog posts are sporadic at best, and I wish I was more like those (like you!) who post regularly. But when I look at the fact that I FINALLY started to blog after talking about it for years, and actually have FOLLOWERS, and post stuff that I’M happy with – – I realize that for ME, that’s a pretty big deal, and I’m doing just fine.
    And look at it this way – all those things you wish you had or were doing – examine if YOU really want them, or if society’s expectations are making you think you do. Then go out and work on what’s important to YOU and forget the rest.
    Sorry – didn’t mean to get all preachy on ya! πŸ˜‰

  11. I really enjoyed the honesty. I find that self-reflection is my way to alleviate comparing my blog and my situation to others. It makes me face my own insecurities before I compare myself with others. When I first started I was in the same place but after 4 years of blogging I now only compares where I was when I started to where I am going. This is only to inspire me to do better and be better.

  12. This is a great post. And as for #7, I am so envious of your writing skills and humor! I’ve wondered why I can’t be like the majestic beast that you are.

  13. Seriously, how DOES one get freshly pressed? And why don’t the press-ers notice me?? But, yeah… I try really hard not to compare myself to others… but it’s reeeaaaally haaaard to push out those sneaking thoughts when they come… πŸ™

      1. One guy I followed wrote about being a small blog and then exploding with followers after WordPress freshly pressed him… then he got freshly pressed a few more times. He just got emails notifying him of it… but how to the WordPress gods find these posts and decide what should be pressed… and then do it more than once on certain blogs but other great ones like yours (and mine heehee) haven’t been once?

  14. This reminds me of an epiphany I had once doing the backstroke through a cesspool of depression.
    I was using social comparison to remind me why I sucked growing up and I suddenly remembered how much I hated pretty much everything my contemporaries loved. No, seriously. Everything. When I was little I hated playing house and all the dolls and mores that went with it. Why didn’t anybody wanna climb trees and pretend to be magic? When I was a teen I hated talking about celebrities. I still do, never got that one. Don’t know them, don’t wanna enter their closet, hate their haircut. When I was in college, things got a little better because brain stuff but the bizarre conversational fixation in the ladies dorms on men wanting to have sex with them rather than receiving good sex from men boggled my mind.
    My whole life, I had been performing a stultifying mental contortion wishing I had the attention and company of people who bored me into emotional colitis.
    The kind of stuff that turns me on is avant garde without being hipster, gender-straddling while still maintaining all original cis parts and impulses, lunatic fringe without the random dyed streaks of hair, politically correct with a lot of fucks thrown in. I’m a minimalist with a full spice rack, a spiritual guru in a hot blue sports bra. I am the center of the universe in a fresh pixy cut that I rock six ways from Sunday.
    Fuck Facebook. I know what I want.

    1. I wish I had met you as a child. I loved climbing trees and pretending to be magic.
      I love love love your last paragraph here. πŸ™‚
      @Katie, you have the best commenters.

      1. I know, right? I haven’t the faintest clue how I survived childhood mentally intact. Sesame Street made me wanna punch puppets, the Easy Bake Oven didn’t produce nearly enough fucking brownies, and Barbie’s factory-molded pink plastic slingbacks sent me into a frenzy of boredom. Make-believe outdoors was soooo much better, but I don’t pretend to be magic anymore.
        I AM fucking magic.

  15. I know this isn’t quite on topic but I bloody love Karl Pilkington. Marc and I listen to the (really old) Ricky Gervais radio shows just because Karl is so funny. It’s better to be funny that have an epic travel-related instagram.
    I wish I had non-bingo wing arms too. πŸ™
    BUT this blog is literally my favourite blog on the internet. If I am scrolling down the reader, even I see other posts I’d like to read first, I ALWAYS pop over to your first. So, you can totally compare yourself with other people, even other people in your same genre. You’ll be at the top.
    The only reason you didn’t go viral/ get super famous/ be forced to quit your day job is because all the folks that *will* love you didn’t find you yet. They will. The silly, slow bastards.

    1. Girl, OMG. I don’t even know what to say ☺️☺️☺️. Everything you said is so wonderful and it’s the reason I keep writing! Thank you SO MUCH! I LOVE your blog, too! I always have to make sure I’m ready to give it my full attention so that I can fully appreciate it all, because it’s such a great read!
      Karl Pilkington is EVERYTHING!!!!

      1. Yay for the smileys!!
        Sorry if the above post sounded soppy. I made a new years resolution a few years ago that if I think something nice, I should say it (or write it) out loud. That way whoever you are thinking nice things about will know it and appreciate their awesome-sauce-ness.

  16. Amen!! Your wit is tops!!! And, um, you have over 1000 followers, so you’re doing something right! Apparently 1000 things right.
    So … my sister in law is pretty thin, and I’ve always envied her body. I mean, my daughter has said “Your big butt has a lot of puffs.” From the mouths of babes… Anyway, so when my sister in law wears a swimsuit she still has cellulite on her thighs, so in the end no one is perfect anyway, so comparison is just a circular game, right? I love the TR quote!!

    1. “Your big butt has a lot of puffs.” IM DYING!! I know the comments from our lovely children in our lives feels so great, but that was FUNNY!
      You’re right. I’m doing *something* right at least!!

  17. I got so stressed a few days ago with no views or comments, I had to ask someone if they could see my blog? Seriously, I am sinking way to low with this. I totally understand you..

  18. β€œWhy, oh why, can’t I be like that magestic beast?” Me. That’s me that thinks that. In all seriousness, perfectly put. I do the same thing, and even though I know it does me no good, I can’t help it! I try to be conscious of it at least and yell at myself to cut the shit and be thankful for what I do have. Plus, all those people showing off on Facebook (e.g. “Look at my immaculate, 7 bedroom, 4 bathroom home.”) are only getting their satisfaction from the internet, and are lacking the real life, intrinsic satisfaction and happiness that you get from not pulling weeds (I envy you for that, by the way. The other day I spent about two hours out in the hot sun day pulling those motherfuckers/ running away from bugs.) All in all, you rock girlfriend. xx

  19. Thank you! Comparisons are especially dangerous for bloggers because what we do (writing, creative work) is so subjective, yet we’re given objective tools for measuring whether or not we’re Doing It Right. Except that there will always be someone more successful out there, or someone who got there faster, or someone who did it with less work… and it seems so unfair (can you just picture me whining and stomping my feet? Because I do. Every time) because obviously you want it more, and would appreciate it more (except I actually want it more and would appreciate it more than you would, so) but that’s reality: it’s known for sucking. And all we can do is the best we can do, while enjoying where we actually are and what we actually have. (I admire the shit out of your humor and your blog, for what it’s worth)

    1. IT’S SO HARD as a blogger and writer!!! OMG! I throw little hissy fits constantly. I know, that’s so grown up and mature of me (us). Thanks so much!!!!!! ☺️☺️

  20. I constantly compare…. even though we have it GREAT– the something missing is a hugely overwhelming piece of my struggle!! Gotta try harder to not rob myself of joy! Thanks for sharing! Xo

    1. Yes, don’t rob yourself of any joy. I know you struggle with very personal things. However, you are very lucky to have what you do have. You have a hubby who supports you. You have a gorgeous house. You have a great job. You’re doing better than most people. BUT, I get it 100%. You want/need what you want and when you don’t have it, it sucks/hurts! πŸ‘Ž

  21. Another post I needed to read today! Comparisons are the death of joy! I do this all the time. If it makes you feel better I am insanely jealous of the extensive comment interactions you receive on your posts. So many!

  22. wow I love this post. to be honest i had never heard this quote and now thinking about it, it is very self sabotaging. I love that it feels like youre in my shoes especially since we have the microwave being the biggest appliance we own lol! but it is true. i think from now on ill count my blessings and be proud of my own achievements. but probably like you, it wont be a quick fix. thanks for opening my eyes.

  23. Oh yes! I feel you on number one. We haven’t bought a house yet. I feel like we have done everything “backwards” but it’s our path and we are enjoying the journey. Also feel ya on the vacations. We didn’t go on one this year and probably won’t be able to. Hopefully next year!
    I loved this post.

  24. Being the techno whiz that I am (due to age and resistance), I finally figured out how to read your blog–feeling pretty gifted right now. Your message here is spot-on and in the midst of all that you can still make me laugh until I cry and my eyes sting and I am still laughing. I believe I gave you a copy of The Prophet by Gibran–his message is that we will always find greater and lesser than we are. Love you!

  25. If it makes you feel any better, you have a hell of a lot more comments on this one blog post that I have on probably all of mine combined, LOL! I think comparing ourselves to others is just human nature. The thing that has helped me the most, in terms of this downward spiral of comparison hell, is to practice gratitude. Sincere, authentic appreciation for the things that I do have. Sure, many of my friends have a bigger house, a nicer car, more blog followers, and so on. But, there are tons of people out there who probably think I live a life of luxury. This was particularly evident when my kids brought home some of their friends. It’s very humbling. And, it’s hard to be jealous when you’re humble! At any rate, keep up the good work and know that you are enough! (and a darn good blog writer, as well!)

    1. Thank you, my friend!! Yes, when I stop to appreciate what I have it cancels out the feelings of jealousy! You’re exactly right about that! I had similar “awakenings” when I met some friends in high school with VERY different lives, families, and experiences! Eye-opening, for sure!

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