I compare myself with others all the time.
Jealousy overrules me. I am constantly in competition with others. As a result, I am never satisfied. I am never just content with my life or with being who I am. And I think that’s awful.
For New Years, I cooked with two other friends (lets call them A and B) that I’m not that close with. We’re still not close but I don’t regret hanging with them because it made me realize everyone’s lives are so different and that life is just what you make of it.
Summary of Epiphanies:
1) Successful people have a goal.
They have a vision. They know what they want - they aren’t vague about anything.
Friend A is applying to transfer to another school cause there is a better program for her interests there. She is willing to give up everything here - all her friends and lifestyle - just for that. She doesn’t write everything down but she knows that today, at 1PM she will go to the gym and by 4PM she needs to go to her design studio to finish a project.
She has a schedule in her mind because she has a goal. She is clear about what she wants to do and eventually executes it.
I have no vision. I just go where life takes me. Sometimes it’s okay because life doesn’t always work out the way you want it to. But if you don’t have something to work towards, then what are you doing all day?
2) Successful people do things their way and don’t think about the competition.
When I go into an interview for anything, I am always nervous thinking about all the other candidates who are more extroverted and experienced than I am. Or just that I’m shit and not good enough.
Friend A got into a club I didn’t get into even though she’s one year younger than me. She started college one year before everyone else but she doesn’t feel “unqualified” or worse. She tries her best, knows what she’s doing and eventually shows herself to others. She’s not afraid to be who she is.
This morning, she said she enjoyed the quietness of her dorm room as she drank a cup of tea alone. I could never confidently say that. I do need alone time to rant but when have I ever felt okay eating a meal alone? I get so self-conscious and feel like a failure because I don’t constantly have friends around me.
Isn’t that shit.
I gotta do myself more. Do what I want to do. I should be confident with saying this is how I live my life. I should be okay with eating alone, okay with sometimes needing to do something a certain way without others’ validations.
3) Successful people don’t think about others’ comments.
I had another friend from the beginning of the year.
He probably barely remembers me but I still remember the last meal we had before we lost contact in the frenzied college life. We were talking about each others’ lives. I thought he was really popular because he knew so many people and constantly waved to others on the street. But he said he wasn’t really close with anyone. He just seemed popular.
But that doesn’t mean he didn’t continue to do what he wants to do. He signed up for San Diego Startup Weekend even though he didn’t know anyone going and even when it’s not a school-affiliated event. He’s independently-spirited and is not afraid to do what he wants to do.
How many times have I done that? Like never. I am self-conscious as fuck.
4) Social media is not accurate in portraying how successful/happy someone is.
I gotta keep that in mind. Friend B has a lot of pictures on Wechat and Facebook, with all kinds of different people from different nationalities. Yet, she is rooming with Friend A’s current roommate next year. Furthermore, B also moved to another dorm recently because it’s supposed to be more social, but she still came back to our dorm these days to hang with us.
Social media doesn’t mean anything. She may have a lot of friends but how true are those friends if she still rooms with someone she barely has any pictures with online?
5) It’s okay to reach out to people when you need it.
This one I realized myself. I felt like shit last night, staying up till 4AM because I was trying to figure my life out. Why can’t I do anything right? I got rejected from a business club my BF got into even though he’s not even a business major. Isn’t that shit!
I talked to some random people on Wechat. Crazy, right. Yeah. And then I cried a bit without meaning to. Point is, it's okay to share your insecurities with others. It makes us human, right.
6) Everyone has their own problems. Everyone is struggling. Everyone is trying to make their way through life so don’t be scared.
The person you’re talking to is only a human, just like you. He/she has strengths, goals, visions, values, weaknesses, vulnerable times, causes he/she cares about, people they care about, people they’ve lost, stories that touched them, experiences that changed them, quotes that bring them forward and times of rejection and insecurity they felt that they hide deep in their hearts.
So don’t worry. Everyone has something they’re scared of. I gotta stop thinking everyone’s so perfect and focus more on myself.
But perhaps these are just my rationalizations though - things I say to make myself feel better. Are they really true? Hm. I think so?