Your job seemed fun, said a friend, a hint of wonder and jealousy color her voice. I was taken aback. I expected her to be the last person in the world to say that. She’s that annoying genius friend who didn’t study the exam that much, showed up gorgeous, half-hour late, and still nailed the exam anyway. From her attitude, her flashy instagram pictures, and her happy captions, I assumed that she’s the one who has the perfect life.
Well. It’s not fun all the time, I shrugged, recalling the time I casted away my management degree to write full time, which was definitely not on my mother’s top 3 lists of the career she wishes her daughter to have. I had to hear the disappointment in her voice on top of hearing my inner critic second guessing myself. Well, a few weeks later, she saw me earning money from writing, then she started to talk about my work to everyone she met. Still, my mom’s support wasn’t enough. I was so afraid I couldn’t keep up with life that I had nightmares. I even had a stomach problem for a long month, which I suspected rooted from the stress. Not a happy story, right?
But you’re doing what you love, my friend looked at me, puzzled, I saw from your Instagram. It’s understandable. How can we not convinced that someone else leads a better lives than we do? Thousands of picture proofs are only a click away. Well, I don’t know about you, but I only post the best picture which does not represent my struggles at all.
Sometimes, we forget that our journeys are not the same. I work in art. My friend work in finance. Our career paths, our problems, and our Instagram feed would not be the same in a million years. Despite appearing to be effortlessly successful, everyone is fighting their own battles. So, it would be fairer if you compare yourself with, well, yourself.
You could start by asking yourself, what are the things I’m able to do now but I couldn’t do a year ago? You could observe your work from a year ago. Trust me, you’d be surprised to see how much you’ve grown.
Don’t forget to give yourself a little reward!
Photo Courtesy of Desi Natalia