I feel that I have fallen victim to one of the things I never thought I would: comparing myself to others. Now I know this can be more of an unconscious thing, only happening for a few seconds and then you move on with your day. But for some reason lately, I find myself wondering what else I could be doing, what I could be doing better, or how my life could be different if I did one thing.
During the school year, I found myself to be focused on school work, friends, and my boyfriend. Now this summer, I’ve been home for three weeks, and with the new abundance of free time, I have time to think, which isn’t a good thing. I’m balancing working 20-25 hours a week scooping ice cream and 15 hours per week at my internship at a marketing group. On the days when I have to go from my internship to work (with about a three hour break in between), I’m too busy to think about anything else besides taglines and ice cream. It’s the days when I have one or the other (or neither) that get to me.
Maybe it’s because social media has become too influential on our lives that we compare ourselves so easily to what others post. I’ve heard a quote about this before, and it was something like “Don’t compare your behind the scenes to someone else’s highlight reel.” As much as I hate to admit it, I think I’m starting to do this, and it’s making me wonder what I’m not doing right.
I have a job and an internship and friends and a boyfriend (long distance, however), and I think I do a good job at balancing all of it. But I see everyone going on trips and doing different things that I know I don’t have time for or wouldn’t be able to go do.
One of the big things that has seem to be nagging at me is working out. I feel like everyone is obsessed with dieting or working out or any combination of the two. Every time I turn around, one of the girls at work is on some diet or weird exercise regiment, and it makes me wonder if I should be doing the same. By no means am I overweight or close to it, but maybe I could lose a few pounds. I know if I say anything to anyone, they’ll be like, “You don’t need it! You can eat whatever you want!” but I know I don’t weigh what I used to weigh in high school, and that bothers me for some reason. I’ve told my boyfriend about this, and he’ll say I’m perfect and don’t need to change. I guess I’m still growing and maturing, so maybe a few extra pounds isn’t bad, right?
It seems like whenever I get busy and feel the need to write my schedule everywhere I go, I also get on these “I need to work out” kicks. This happened toward the end of the fall and spring semesters as I had more essays and projects and speeches to complete. With essentially working two jobs this summer, I feel like I’m back in that frazzled state and with it comes the (I hate to use this word) body shaming. Feeling like I could do better, look better, be better.
I wish there was a way for me to get out of these little cycles I get in because it just makes me feel worse about myself. Up until junior year of college, I hadn’t struggled with anything like this before, so it makes me wonder why all of a sudden I’m like this.
Maybe taking things one day at a time would be better than trying to think about the big picture. I know what I’m doing now is what’s right for me, and I need to stop comparing myself to others. Because they could be doing the same thing, wondering what’s wrong with them and comparing themselves to me.
Just like you, I have fallen a victim to this constant comparison. I’m waiting for work to start so I can keep busy and become more productive. I also gained some weight since high school, so I am starting simple by just cutting down my calorie intake and going on daily walks. Even though I am making a difference in my life, I still feel like I could be doing better because of what I hear other people doing. I just have to keep remembering that what other people are doing doesn’t matter and I need to be happy as myself. I can completely relate to your ‘Summer Struggle’ and I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone on this.
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