When Comparison Steals Your Joy

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A few weeks ago, I became overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety almost out of nowhere. It started when I was shopping for a wedding dress. I had found one that I absolutely LOVED. The time came for my first fitting appointment and I got to bring my sister, my mom, Zack’s mom, and all my bridesmaids to see it on me. It was everything I had always envisioned myself in – there was a simple elegance to it and I just loved it.  I had zero doubts this was the dress I wanted.
Literally later, that very same day, Instagram started suggesting a lot of bridal pages for me to follow (sneaky marketing there). I began to see more and more wedding dresses online and I began to totally doubt my own.
I would think,

“Is my dress good enough?

Is it unique enough?

Is the train as long as it should be?

Is it as good as what I’ve seen on Instagram?”

Then, it started flowing over into other areas of my life. I started to compare everything I had to everyone else’s; hair, body, closet, wedding – you name it, I was suddenly questioning if what I had was enough.

I was talking to Zack about it all and trying to pinpoint exactly where this sudden onset of comparison and quite frankly, this un-gratefulness was coming from. I decided to delete all my social media apps for a week and was very intentional about spending time with God through prayer, worship and reading.

After a lot of reflection, I realized my insecurities were stemming from social media.

Every day as I/we scroll through our feeds, we see the filtered highlights of people’s lives. We see travel bloggers sharing their trips from all over the world, traveling nearly 24/7, 365 days a year. We’ll see fashion bloggers share their favorite “steals” from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale – and it will be $300 pairs of designer jeans. We can also see relationship bloggers who post gorgeous photo shoots with their boyfriend/fiancé/husband and make their relationship look effortless as the open field they’re running in.

Now – in my opinion, there is n o t h i n g wrong with these people sharing these things! Shoot, if you’ve got it, rock it. If you’re sponsored and get an all-expenses paid trip to Bora Bora, TAKE THAT TRIP. If you get sent hauls of free clothes from high-end designers – WEAR them. And if you’ve got a photographer taking cute pictures of you and your fiancé at all times – know that I am jealous and you should take advantage of that 😉 However, the problem comes from within people like myself, when suddenly we start to perceive someone’s highlight reel as their reality and in turn start to question why OUR reality isn’t like there’s. . I typically would consider myself very secure. I don’t usually get caught up in superficial things, nor do I get self-conscious often. I have always been very comfortable in my own skin. However, call it sensitivity, vulnerability, or whatever else you may, for whatever reason, I was starting to get extra caught up in what everyone else had. So much so, that it started to make me feel like I didn’t have enough.

“Comparison is the thief of all joy”.

I can honestly say if you would have told me in high school where I would be today, I literally would have started jumping up and down. The job I have been provided, the trips I’ve taken, the love I have found forever & this gorgeous ring on my finger… these are literally the things I’ve DREAMT about! Yet, despite all I have in front of me, it’s hard to feel like it’s enough when I start comparing it to what other people have.

So, I began thinking…

I knew I wanted to get back into blogging. I have been writing recreationally / blogging since high school. If I wasn’t in the medical field, I can honestly say I would have gone into some type of journalism. I started sharing my blog publicly about 5 years ago but never consistently, until now. I’m not creating a website to make a business out of it, to gain a huge following, or even to become a legit “blogger”. But instead, I thought,

What if I make a blog that promotes a normal, honest, imperfect life?

I don’t have any special qualifications. I mean, who am I to talk about the medical field? Yeah I’m an ultrasound technologist, but I’m not a doctor. Who am I to talk about traveling, when it’s not something I get to do more than 2-3x a year? Who am I to share relationship stories & advice? I’ve been dating the same guy for 7 years and I’m not even married yet.

Ironically though, I think this is exactly what the internet needs more of – normal people, sharing their normal imperfections, experiences and struggles of their normal lives.

I don’t want to create a blog because I think I’ve got it all figured out and people should follow my lead. I don’t want to share publicly the struggles and insecurities I have because I want attention and affirmation. And I surely do not want to share only the good parts of my life so that people think I have it all together.

No. Instead, I want to share life honestly.  So that’s what this blog is about and that’s what the mission behind it all is; to add a dose of normalcy and flaw to someone’s news feed. To be one of few people who air their dirty laundry out to others and not just a filtered feed of highlights. And as long as it helps maybe even just one person to find gratitude & contentment in who they are, what they have, and what they don’t, I’d say it’ll all be worth it.

 

xo,

Toni

 

 

 

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