Comparison is the thief of joy. I wrote about this the summer before our wedding. That summer, I was trying to wrap up my fast track graduate program in new media, finish a full time unpaid magazine internship, squeeze in some work so I could pay wedding bills, all while living in my parent’s basement because Apb was 14 hours away in Chicago. I would sit on the train from Toronto to Burlington sketching out different packages I would one day offer as a wedding planner instead of thinking about what job positions in the journalism industry I should be applying for. I was broke, I felt lonely and couldn’t understand why I had been handed an unfair slice of life. I wanted to be with Andrew and do normal things like go grocery shopping together. I wanted more money to plan the wedding I dreamed of and couldn’t ever afford. Really, I wanted what others had.
I get emails sometimes from people who wonder how I am so genuinely happy all the time. And don’t get me wrong, I am. I’m immensely blessed and doing my absolute best to live my ideal life everyday. But sometimes little slivers of doubt creep in, or so and so does something seemingly bigger, better, more beautiful, more unique, more pinworthy, more awesomesauce, and I think all of the gifts in front of me are just worthless. I insult the life I’ve build, the life Andrew and I have built, the things we’ve been given, the relationships we’ve made. We forget to praise and be grateful for exactly what’s in front of us! Comparison is like a powerful vortex, sucking you in and leaving you scrambling for balance and stability on familiar ground.
In college I was an NCAA gymnast. After my incredibly successful but difficult freshman year I decided to transfer schools for a wealth of reasons. Immediately I sent an email to my original first pick of Universities to attend, asking the head coach if they had room for an incoming sophomore. I was desperate to be somewhere where I assumed I’d be a perfect fit. This school to me had everything I was missing at the previous school, and this school would no doubt, fill a massive void. Coach eventually returned my email and with one sentence taught me one very important lesson I try my best to always remember. I’ll never forget the smile on my face when I read her concise response: ”The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”
It’s not. Sometimes it’s yucky, brown grass, littered with weeds. But maybe that grass is in the backyard so you don’t really see it. And sometimes that grass is so dang green and gorgeous but what you don’t realize is there’s a lawn manicuring team coming out three times a week to make it look that way. So focus on your own grass, figure out what you can do to make it greener every day and hone in on what you’re good at, what makes you special and what you can be proud about. Your joy is far too valuable to just give up in the name of comparison and chances are you’re truly full of amazing untapped potential.
So what can you do today to soar up, up and away? What makes you GOOD at your craft? I wanna hear it below.
And that fun photo is by the lovely Kelly Braman. It’s one of the hundreds she snapped for the new relaunch! Eeek! xoxo