There is a habit we humans have. We’ve seen it in the animal world, but mostly only with primates. All the other species seem to know better.
We compare ourselves to everyone.
Now, before you tear my analogy apart, yes, other species try to outdo each other. Mostly to get laid. He has pretty feathers? Check out mine! (Beautiful plumage!) That’s not this. I’m talking about allowing the triumphs of other people to shake our own worth.
I am an author. I am published. But I haven’t published a novel. “She writes a book a month! She’s going on a book tour!” Suddenly, my little short story is less sweet than it was five minutes ago.
Every day, we see the perfect pictures on Instagram. We see our friend’s vacation updates on Facebook. We see a new project launched on Twitter. And we hold ourselves against these standards, forgetting that we see only a snippet. A moment. We are islands in our frustrated sea of worth.
We are unique.
We are other.
Except we aren’t. We are all floundering.
As I write this, my eyes are burning from an amazing cry. My stomach is roiling enough that I have yet to eat dinner. The Wonder Wife and I had a deep, existential conversation about fears and value and finding the path. (Apparently, part of seeing one’s path requires cranial rectal inversion therapy. Whatever.) So this is part navel gazing. But there also a small hope that someone will read these words and nod. Feel a little better. Maybe they’ll be able to laugh at themselves the next time they reach for that oh so flawed mirror. Maybe they’ll remember to look beyond the moment. I’m going to try.
And eat. I’m going to eat.