Stop The Comparisons – We’re all Hot Messes

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 She’s gorgeous. She’s kind and compassionate. She’s talented. She’s a good friend. She’s basically perfect. And of course – she’s with the guy of your dreams.As one day, my mind drifted to this girl that I know, a girl I’ve compared myself to far too often over the last few years, I had a question that became an epiphany.

“What if she thinks the same thing about me?”

This blew me away. As women, we have this tendency to compare ourselves to others. We’re not as naturally beautiful as Beyonce post pregnancy and we’re not as holy as Mother Teresa. We aren’t a cultural icon that exudes confidence, beauty, and poise like Michelle Obama or Jackie Onassis Kennedy. We don’t work out as much as our neighbor. Our picture on facebook doesn’t get as many likes or as many males drooling in the comments as the girl in the bikini. We aren’t getting a 4.0 while also putting in 50 hours of volunteering per month.

“We aren’t, but they are,” we tell ourselves, “and they have everything together in the meantime.”

Yet we don’t know the lives of these women that we compare ourselves to. I very rarely compare myself to people when I know all their cobwebs in their hearts and dead bodies in the closet. There’s still a bit of, “Oh gosh, why is her hair always perfect when mine looks like a frizz ball?” but there’s a whole lot less of, “she’s perfect and I suck.” No one can keep up a perfect life. Everyone will have areas where they will succeed and everyone will have areas where they fail – focusing on either of those extremes leaves us jealous, angry, and in the pain of comparison.

When we as women get so focused on “she is and we aren’t” comparisons, we find ourselves losing our joy. In addition to that, we also find that it brings a lot of girl hate to the party. The last thing that we need is to build walls that separate ourselves from the rest of our gender – there are too many walls up between us already. So for heaven’s sake, stop comparing yourself to someone who is not you and never can be you. Embrace the fact that you aren’t perfect – and neither is the person you think is perfect.

We’re all a bit of a hot mess.

You are Not Alone

It was somewhere in the mess of the last two years that I’ve found a stunning truth.
Somewhere between the nerdy boys who’ve spilled their guts to me and the childhood family friends who have said, “me too.”
Somewhere between all the intimate conversation in public places and the one-on-ones with campers, fellow counselors, and youth group leaders.
Somewhere between all the, “I thought I was the only one” and the,“you too?” responses.I realized that we aren’t that different.

Sure, we’re individuals and unique and snowflakes and yada yada yada, but really – in our hearts – we’re more alike than any of us tend to think.

I crave love.
I get hurt and feel pain.
I try to put on a strong face.
I am more than what I appear.
I dream of brilliance.
I don’t think I’m the only one anymore.

This isn’t to be insensitive to your pain, to your story, to your heart – no, those things still have their sparks that I may never be able to relate to, but there’s probably more to your story that we share than either of us knows. Sometimes, I’m pretty sure God gave me a life where He decided to throw in a little bit of every crazy (and tough) thing possible just so I could relate to people.

  • When I was seven, my mom got sick and almost died.
  • I have 3 adopted siblings – two of which have mental disabilities.
  • My dad lost his job and we were homeless for six months when I was 9.
  • I’ve experienced Christians who’ve burned me deeply.
  • I’m a diagnosed mental basket case. Depression as well as some lovely self diagnosed anxiety, PTSD, and ADD on the side. This has resulted in some other issues in my life over the last several years.
  • An extroverted personality has left me with an ability to make friends and connections quickly, but a struggle to maintain deep relationships.
  • My family has moved about 7 times in the last 16 years.
  • I’ve been home schooled, private schooled, and public schooled.
  • There are things I’ve experienced that I may not speak of – thinking they’re too big or too small to be worth sharing.
And you probably relate to at least one of these things. We’ve shared shoes at some point without knowing it. You are like me. I am like you. Don’t you see? That’s brilliant! We aren’t alone.
Every time I hear “no one understands what I’m going through,” I want to run to that person and give them the best hug of their life, then grab their shoulders and tell them that they are not alone. I may not be able to relate to everything – but I can empathize with something in your story. I want to hear it. I want to hear what makes you yourself. I want to hear what goes on in that brilliant little heart of yours and why your heart pitters and patters the way it does.If you don’t want to share with me – simply take a moment and think of this: there are 7 billion people on this planet. You are are one of them; somehow completely unique and yet you belong to this beautiful collage with a master fit. There is someone out there who will get you. You will find them. Open up your heart, expose who you are, and you’ll find people just like you at every turn.

And if you needed to be told again: You are NOT alone.

Growing Up – Facing the in Between

To curl up with a stuffed puppy and chocolate milk.
To get to spend the entire day reading and have no stressful consequences.
To sleep in and eat chocolate chip pancakes.
To not worry about my messy hair or if my figure is pleasing to others.
To go back.
To be innocent.
To be a child.I was always a girl who was eager to grow up. I still am a little girl who’s been a bit too eager to grow up. Some aspects of growing up I absolutely love. I love adventures, working toward crazy goals, helping people, coffee at night, and being able to spell. Yet at some point, I look at my schedule, my to-do list, and my heart – and I find myself feeling a bit weary.

I’ve found myself in a state of tension as these last few teen years are upon me. It’s a bit like purgatory, a limbo in between two different worlds. On one hand, those pudgy fingers of childhood reach out to me – wishing me to stay with them a little bit longer. To blow off everything that grown ups deem important and just go pick dandelions all day. On the other hand, I see this world that is at my fingertips. I see backpacking around Europe, college in a big city, fixing problems, pursuing my dreams and getting somewhere with them.

This is an exciting time. I’m experiencing so many first; everything from my first internship to my first solo road trip. I get to do so many things that I used to only dream of with faraway longing. Yet part of me is still this little girl. The little girl needs to go to the park and swing. The little girl needs to take time to read good books. The little girl needs a giggle fest with a gaggle of girls on a Friday night.
  Today, I played soccer in the backyard thanks to the eager requests of two boys with huge eyes that I can’t say no to. At one point, Harper and I had climbed up on our “epic tower of awesomeness” and with a thumb in his mouth and cuddling in my arms, he turned to me, blue eyes radiating insane energy and said something about growing up. He’s turning 4 next week. He’s been my boy for 3 years and they flew by. Before I know it, he will be writing about not wanting to grow up anymore. He will be in this situation.
 I want to go back to being that little girl. I want to leap back into time, grab her shoulders and tell her to slow down, but I can’t. Instead I have these two boys begging me to take time away from my homework to cuddle or kick a soccer ball around the yard.
And I shall do my best to help them slow down; to teach them to enjoy being little. It doesn’t last long.