Consider this a letter to myself of sorts. I’m writing it on here in case there is anyone else out there that struggles with this problem (and I would say we all do to an extent) and to remind myself to remember this: comparison is the thief of joy.
I follow and read a lot of blogs. I am constantly pinning pretty things that people have made and decorated or whatever on Pinterest. I am an art student and I’m constantly surrounded by people in the art building with amazing art skills. This list could go on and on. Anyway, I think these things are great and can provide lots of great ideas and inspiration. Pinterest and blogs are great places for decor ideas, finding great recipes, tips and tricks for DIY stuff, etc… I find myself constantly inspired by things that I see and read.
However, they can also work in the wrong direction if you aren’t careful. Reading blogs of people that have beautiful houses with time and money to decorate them nicely, have lots of amazing friends that they can invite over for dinner parties, my favorite fabric designers and their amazing new fabric collections, and all the other million great things that people out there are doing. It can make you start to get a little bit jealous of things or talents that other people have.
I would love to have a pretty farmhouse out in the country with the time and money to renovate and decorate it. I would love to have land to garden, grow vegetables, have chickens and other animals, to be able to compost and live off the land. I would love to have time to do all kinds of great DIY projects, to paint beautiful paintings and sew lots of beautiful things. I would love to design amazing fabric collections and make patterns and use my love of interior design to create beautiful quilt market booths to show off my latest designs. I wish I had a big group of close friends that I could invite over for movies, or game nights, to be able to cook for and have dinner parties. Again, these things could go on and on and on.
I find myself sometimes falling past the point of inspiration and end up in the realm of comparison. Which is a really dangerous place to be. Comparing myself too closely to other people makes it super easy to overlook all the great talents and blessings that I have in my life. It robs me of joy. Instead of being happy with my life, my talents, the things I have, the place I’m at in life, I end up finding myself unhappy and ready to be in a different place. Which isn’t a good thing.
When I really step back and forget about all the other people out there that might cook better than me, paint better than me, decorate, blog, sew, craft or whatever else better than me and just focus on myself, I can actually see that I have a lot of great qualities. I might not be the most amazing chef, but I can budget for food, shop for what I need within that budget, and still cook delicious and healthy meals for me and Drew that sustain and nourish our bodies. I might not have an unlimited budget or the time to constantly be shopping for home decor items for my house, but our little home and the things in it make me smile when I come home. I might not be the most amazing artist, seamstress, or designer at this point in my life, but if I stop to think about the people that do those things that I look up to, they are generally quite a bit older than me and have a whole lot more experience! I may not have a ton of friends to invite over for dinner parties at my house in New Orleans, but I have close friends spread out all over the world and one really best friend that I have the amazing opportunity to come home to and have dinner parties with every night, whom I also get to marry in just 4 short months.
My life really is blessed. I have a lot of creativity and talents that I’m very thankful for. I have an amazing family and friends in many different places. I’ve had many great opportunities so far and I’ve got more time to do other things in life, but for now I’m here in this incredibly unique city going to a great university, which is an opportunity that not everyone gets to have. I might not have my own pretty house in the country, but at this point in my life, that would be too much for me to handle. I love our charming little apartment and it fits our lives right now perfectly. In all honestly, I love where my life is now. Living here, learning new things in school everyday, planning our wedding, figuring our lives out together, etc. I’m very blessed and when I forget about all those other comparisons, I find joy.
image from here.