One thing that always seems to send me over the edge into CATSMASH! mode is when someone belittles another person’s, well, anything. There’s a lot of this in the online world. Having a screen between you and another person adds a sort of shield, where you feel safer saying things you would probably never, ever say to that person’s face.
I have been doing a lot of thinking lately, what with the sleepless nights and all that’s going on in my head, and I have also been having lots of interesting conversations with people over the last few months. I feel like I need to remind the world, or my small corner of it, that you should be proud of YOU.
Everyone has their own journey. Some journeys are easier than others. Some have it rough. But if you’re sitting here, reading this right now? Congratulations! You’ve made it. You’ve survived! You might be going through some awful shit right now, but you’ve made it this far, and that I think is worthy of pride.
I’m not saying I’m not guilty of judging others. I’m not perfect. But I try very hard to stop myself from thinking that thought and think, “well, for them, that is obviously an accomplishment and it should be celebrated.” It’s not always easy, sometimes you get lost in thinking, “Hey, I have it way worse and I do so much more that that!” But everyone is different. You can’t possibly look at two people, with completely different lives and compare them. You can’t. It’s not fair.
I look at people who have children and I think, “holy hell, I could NEVER do that!” because they don’t sleep, they look after one – or many more! – children, and they STILL manage to get through the day like everyone else. They work, they stay at home and watch children (that itself is EXHAUSTING), they cook, they clean, they do everything else that I do, but they have the added challenge of parenting at the same time. Homework? I was so happy when that left my life after school. The thought of having to help someone with homework now just sends chills of terror down my spine. Nope. No way. No thank you.
But then again, parents can be guilty of comparing their lives to those of people without children. Just because I am not looking after a tiny human, doesn’t mean I don’t have my own challenges. It doesn’t make it better or worse, it just means we all have burdens to carry and issues to resolve and it’s OK. It’s what makes us human.
If you’re proud of your accomplishments, then BE proud. Share those moments you’re so proud of with others. More often than not, you’re inspiring the people who are reading about them. Don’t let one cranky, jealous, comment make you hide those parts of yourself. If you’re thrilled you managed to run 8km, or made an amazing (to you) meal – SHARE IT. These are important things to embrace. You’re not fishing for compliments, you’re just PROUD that you accomplished whatever task it was that to you was a challenge.
And don’t reply to other people’s accomplishments with things like, “Well, I ran 10km and it was even harder!” or, “How could you even eat that? Don’t you know how unhealthy that is, you should…blah blah” Just don’t.
Allow people their space online to be proud of who they are.
Respect the journey your life has been on to this point. It’s made you who you are. Try not to fall prey to jealousy when you see someone post something that makes you feel like you’ll never reach that goal.
Stop worrying about other people’s lives and be proud of the one YOU are living right now. You’ve fought battles, you have your scars, you have your good moments and your bad ones. Whatever age you are, or whatever point in life you’re at right now, it means you’ve accomplished something. You made it to today.
Be proud of your good hair day. Be proud of your home (be it big, small, crowded, sparse). Be proud of your family, and friends. Be proud of the obstacles you’ve overcome to get to this point in life.
Respect the journey you’ve been on, and be proud of yourself. Don’t let anyone ever take that from you. Don’t second-guess. Just ignore those who are jealous, or try to cut you down to make themselves feel better about life. Those people do not matter. You matter. And you will always matter to someone, even if you feel that you don’t. Embrace the uniqueness that is you because that’s what makes us all special.