Compare and Despair: A super (not) fun game for the whole family

Real talk: Social media fucks me up.

If I want to ruin a perfectly good day, all I have to do is open up a social channel or three and a bite-sized bit of WHY I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH is ready and waiting.

It doesn’t matter if I’ve had a wicked prolific day and carved out 20 pages on a screenplay or two feature stories for one online outlet or another. No matter what I’ve accomplished, I can wad those accomplishments up and chuck ’em in the bin the minute I start comparing myself to others online.

OH, YOU BOOKED THREE SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS IN SIX COUNTRIES AND ARE DINING WITH THE KING OF SPAIN.

>Nothing in that sentence is real but I am instantly jealous because I ate dinner with my dog.

OH, YOU BOOKED A ROLE ON BROADWAY AND ARE GOING TO BE FA-MOUS.

> I mean, you’re a dude and in your 20s but that role could have totes been mine. Fucker.

OH, YOUR KID JUST GOT HER BLACK BELT IN JUJITSU. LOOK AT YOUR CUTE ‘STORY.’

>I was super stoked about making it to spin class twice this week. Was.

The easiest thing I do every day is let myself get sucked into a vortex of internet-fueled Not Good Enough. To systematically dismantle any sense of accomplishment I might have, all it takes is three easy steps:

  1. Log into social media.
  2. Instantly begin comparing myself to others.
  3. Cue despair.

VOILA.

Everyone’s social feeds are filled with WORLD CHANGING ACCOMPLISHMENTS and my life is, comparatively, vastly uninteresting. Dare I say pedestrian.

***cue person posting a gorgeous image of random pedestrians on Instagram***

Here’s a little nugget of truth: No one’s life is more interesting than yours.

Instagram influencers take multitudes of photos to get that perfect “candid selfie.”

Comedians on Twitter backspace until the joke is just right.

Hell, I post photos of my face where the wrinkles around my eyes are a bit less noticeable.

When it comes to social media, we only see what people want us to see.

We only read what people want us to read.

We spend our days comparing ourselves to carefully crafted, social media-approved versions of people we think we know.

And we dismiss our truths, our accomplishments, and our worth based on what is, essentially, the most well-curated collection of lies in the world.

So, the next time you go down the Compare-and-Despair black hole, think about that.

Maybe place a bit more value on your truth than someone else’s version of the truth.

And to close — not everything on the internet is a lie. I try to be pretty damn transparent about my foibles and fuck-ups. But I do have a backspace key.

And I keep dipping back into the social media well though it fucks me up on a daily basis. You probably wonder how much of what I tell you is the truth.

Fair enough.

But there’s a lot of bullshit out there.

Don’t let their bullshit silence your truth.

Don’t let someone else’s accomplishments diminish yours.

And if you feel like you’re coming up a bit short in comparison to someone else’s success, dare to ask:

Is THEIR want MY want?

And if so, be happy for them and ask what you can learn from it. How can their success can help you UP your game and get inspired instead of derailed?

And if it’s NOT your want — no need to despair, my Sparklehorse of Joy. You didn’t want it anyways.

Despairing over shit you never wanted but someone else got is a great way to take time and energy away from getting what you DO want.

P.S.: On evenings where I’m scrolling through social media and slipping into a vortex of compare-and-despair (I’m susceptible, no lie), I’ve started making little lists of Things I Got Done Today. Some days the list is shorter than others, but this activity seems to do a solid job of reminding me that I got some tiny-ass stuff done. It might not be a black belt in Jujitsu or dinner with the King of Spain, but I will be a happy camper in the morning because there are 5 bottles of fresh cold brew in my fridge to fuel me towards MY wants. There’s no comparison for that.

P.P.S.: For my fellow cold brew drinkers who don’t want to pay $5 around town, I’m currently into Califia Farms Vanilla Tolteca Cold Brew Concentrate. I’m also a big fan of Stokd. I mix both with Califia Farms almond-coconut milk blend. I have no idea why I’m telling you this except to say that cold brew fuels everything you read from me. If you’re also a cold brew fan, hit me up with your faves and at-home blends. Good talk.

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