Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Thief of Joy



com·pare

[kuhm-pair]  verb, com·pared, com·par·ing, noun
 to examine (two or more objects, ideas, people, etc.) in order to note similarities and differences

Sometimes it feels like everyone I know, that is within five years of my age is getting married, having kids, graduating school, finding full time jobs, supporting themselves, the list goes on and on. Here I am, however, currently living with my parents again, back in school and totally single. It feels like my pace is slower than everyone else and it doesn't seem fair.

I have struggled with this for years. Instead of taking care of my health, I continually ignored my inner voice as a way to fit in with what everyone else was doing; heaven forbid I stray from the norm.  Why does it often times feel like if we do something that is different in any way from how everyone else does it, there is automatically something wrong with us?

Monday night, for example, it probably was a bit shocking to some of you that I shared my full story with alcohol. I will admit, I'm still shocked that I put it all out there. When I compare my life and the things that have happened to most of the people around me, it is blatantly obvious that I have strayed from the norm. Thankfully not many people in my everyday life can relate to some of the experiences I have had. 

However, after 48 hours of processing the fact that I no longer have anything to hide, I have realized something that has changed my outlook. Think about this: If I had never shared my story with any of you, would that have made me a different person? Would you look at me any differently than you do now? Regardless of my past, I'm still me. 

Give me a minute to let that sink in- I'm still me. 

For about nine months now I have chosen to keep my drinking problems a secret because I was petrified of what people would think of me. At first, I thought of myself as this horrible person because of this horrible thing that I had done and it was almost unbearable to even live with myself. I couldn't stop comparing myself to others. My path was different and I didn't have the strength to accept that. My life wasn't perfectly put together the way our society believed it should be. I was so caught up in measuring up to others that I forgot to live my own life. 

Even though most people wouldn't choose to share their secrets and insecurities as a way to heal, it works for me. I highly doubt I would ever have been able to forgive myself if I had kept it all bottled up. 

Compared to most of  you, I am very different; but that's no reason to beat myself up. What's the point in living a joy-less life just because my life has taken me down an unbeaten path? Just because I'm not getting married, working a full time job or have life struggles doesn't make me any less of a person.

Comparison is a thief of joy and the more I repeat that, the more it seems to be sinking in.

Progress.

7 comments:

  1. Kelsi, comparison is one of those things we all do. I am married, but many of my friends are starting families and having kids.My wife and I are about the only ones without kids. And we don't plan on having kids for a while.

    It seems like sometimes we are the odd ones out. I think that it is awesome you shared your story, and to be honest I believe that many will and have looked at you with wonder and great appreciation for having the courage to share and achieve what you have achieved. Your story has brought out two of your greatest traits, courage and confidence. Your story makes others stand in awe, and if others had to compare themselves to you I think they would find themselves wishing they had the courage and confidence to share what you have shared. Progress? I would say so! Blessings!

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    1. Steve- there you go again making me cry! :) I think you are spot on when you say comparing is something we all do. For some reason it's really easy to do. Thank you once again for your kind words- once again I'm having a hard time formulating a response because of your thoughtfulness. You made my day... again! :)

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  2. I am so glad you have shared your whole story. I hope many young people read this and learn from everything you have been through. To me, you are an inspiration to all of us!!

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    1. Julie Rinn wrote this above.

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  3. This post is so great! "Comparison is a thief of joy" - i Love it! I had a sign on my mirror that read "Compare and Despair" (inspired by Jenni Schaefer) because it's always a good reminder!

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    1. Thanks so much Lauren!! I think many of us have this problem- so it's a good reminder when I find myself caught up in those "I'm not good enough" thoughts... Not good enough for WHO?! <33

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