Who told us that we should have our lives together, right now.
A lot of my friends are brilliant 20-something year olds who are either in graduate school or are working full time in the field of their choice. I talk to them weekly and we usually have conversations about where we are in life. Somewhere in the beginning we are complaining about where we are, but in comparison to someone else.
I am probably the biggest culprit of comparison, but I have to tell myself “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
I’m 23 years old and I had a plan for my life that looks very different than my reality. However, I see people on social media, who I don’t know by the way, living the life that I thought I was going to have and immediately I question if what I’m living is LESS THAN what I’m supposed to be living.
Someone could look at me and say wow she has her shit together. She’s in school, she’s smart, she doesn’t get in trouble, has a few friends, has more than one job, is in a relationship and has family who loves her. But everyone of those things have been broken one way or another.
Someone once told me, people put the best version of themselves on social media. And I thought about it and they’re right.
Comparison is the thief of joy
I’ve had the same friends for years now and back when we were in our late teens, we would talk about what our lives would look like in our early 20’s. We would be living on our own, have a well paying job and be in a loving relationship that was bound to turn into an engagement. That was our definition of having our shit together. Disclaimer: It hasn’t happened yet. We sat in our college apartment and really thought that it was going to happen like that. Laughing it up and comparing our lives and saying who would do what first.
I was going to be the one with the job first, friend A was going to be the first one in the longterm relationship and friend B was going to be the first one who moved out on her own.
Well let’s see…I was NOT the first to get a job in my field, but I am the first to have a full-time position in my field (once I graduated). Friend A broke up with her boyfriend and in her own words “she’s not getting married anytime soon.” Friend B was the first one to move out and live on her own. We are all in grad school, we all work in our field (internship, part-time, full-time), we all have goals. We all seem to have our shit together, but we don’t.
On the outside looking in, it looks great but it’s not.
Friend A always talks about relationships failing and her health issues. Friend B doesn’t necessarily want to go into her field of study and she talks about how she wishes she was closer to family members and has lost many of them too. And then there’s me, who has problems talking about her feelings and has low self-esteem when I shouldn’t because according to my friends I have things and opportunities presented to me that people would kill for.
We’re only 22 and 23 and we are all works in progress.
So if you’re struggling and thinking that you need to have it all together in your early 20’s, you don’t. Stop listening to people’s perceptions of where you should be, stop running to social media to compare yourself to people you don’t even know and instead of comparing yourself to your friends, just have the conversation and realize you all are doing your best and you have people who are rooting for you and celebrating your achievements.
Thanks for listening.