The dangers of comparison

So today I got to spend time with one of my favourite people to celebrate her birthday. I want to say another year, but the truth is that, though she is now a friend, I’ve only known her for about 9 months, so not yet another year…

Anyway, I digress, as is my way. As these things generally go, I was not the only person sharing in the celebrations. In fact, she was surrounded by quite a few women who care greatly about her and the quality of these women speaks greatly to the amazing person the birthday girl is. And therein lies the rub, for me, anyway.

Spending a few hours with these extraordinary women really made me wonder how I got there. I’m nowhere near their league, to my mind. I mean, there I was, surrounded by bloggers (who have “made it”), PR people, degrees, accomplished mothers, people who had been featured and have been guest speakers and have just generally achieved. And I will be honest, I felt alone and outside. Don’t get me wrong, these are awesome women and I was not excluded. The issue is very much internal.

So, why? What is the problem. I guess the fact I don’t mingle comfortably plays a part, but mostly, I compared myself, and using someone else as the standard by which you measure yourself…. Welll…

So let’s have a list

  1. I was the only idiot showing cleavage – hey, I underachieve, but my WonderBra still works!
  2. Bloggers everywhere! Which makes sense in context, but these people are important enough for people to feel threatened and be mean to them.
  3. So much of pretty! 3 months postpartum, I am not feeling excited about myself physically.
  4. New mom, amongst the “veterans”. And their kids are special. And I don’t mean short-bus-special. I mean the apple stuck near the tree, impressive special. I refuse to use my kid to compete, but it’s intimidating.
  5. They know how to socialise. And network. I know how to say “get over yourself”. It’s not an endearing trait…

I could likely go on, but this is depressing. So the point? I’m not actually a chronic underachiever. I have achieved all my major goals, except getting my degree. Which is due in July, so…. I have a gorgeous baby, a wonderful husband, 3 amazing pets. I have great friends and few issues – aside from the obvious self-esteem collapse I am clearly suffering right now.

The problem in comparing yourself to others, is that you are comparing an actual 3D object to a 2D image – generally a cube to a circle, at that. The thing to remember is that I didn’t gatecrash that party. I was invited. Which means that to my friend, who is the one that matters, I have earned my spot in that group. I passed the only comparison that matters – I am her friend.

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