The best advice I’ve ever been given is to never compare yourself to anyone else.
Easier said than done, trust me, but I honestly believe that the worst thing you can do is put anybody else’s life on a pedestal.
I’ve spent a large proportion of my life dealing with this nasty and addictive habit, even before the whole social media thing really kicked off, going back to the time when I owned a Nokia 3210, camera phones hadn’t been invented yet and you had to compose your own ringtone! Now I’m a little bit older and wiser I know that the celebrities I admired so much aren’t as ‘perfect’ as I first saw them to be – sorry Britney, you screwed that image up circa 2007… You haven’t got to dress like Kate Moss to be ‘cool’ and it’s okay if you still like to sing and dance around your kitchen to Destiny’s Child whilst your friends listen to Mumford & Sons – it’s admirable to be 100% you because ‘there is no one else in the world who is you-er than you’, remember that.
I wish I had cared less at school that I wasn’t ‘the prettiest’ or ‘the smartest’ or ‘the funniest’. That I wasn’t in the popular group, or any particular group to be honest, because labels don’t define who you are, or where you will be in 10 years time. It can be difficult to see friends do better than you when you are struggling with your own dreams but when you start to list what you value most in life, you’ll realise that you haven’t got it so bad after all and following other people’s dreams does not lead you to your dream. I reminded myself of this towards the end of 2015 and I feel so much happier, in fact the happiest I have been in a very long time.
I suppose this post isn’t just what I would tell my teenage self, it’s also for my godchildren and my baby cousin (who may not need this advice for another 12 years or so but it’s good to look ahead) – it’s for anyone who has or is still comparing their self, their job, their location, their blog – focus on your own happiness and perhaps you won’t want to be anyone but you.
And I think that’s a pretty special thing to be, don’t you?