I wrote this during one of my late night creative hours - I was going to originally share this as a social media post, but it became longer and longer as I typed. I hope you enjoy this insight into my brain!
Someone else’s greatness and success never diminishes mine. I refuse to participate in this, where we compare ourselves to people and come out on the bottom or top. Where other people’s lives feel bad to look at, where we secretly hope on their downfall. I jokingly call myself a hater because I’m still the emo/punk kid who hates everything and wants to stay at home listening to her music, but I really choose not to participate in this hateful part of society. My environment nurtured a competitive drive in me – I’m 3 of 4 kids, I’m middle eastern, and I’m a woman. The world is not on my side the way it may be for a white man who grew up as an only child. However I noticed my competitiveness didn’t need to transfer into how I view my own life in comparison to others. I noticed it drained me worrying about how I lined up with others. There will always be someone who is smarter, funnier, kinder, richer, and so on than me. I will always want more out of this life than I truly think I’ll be able to get. There’s a reason the Tenth Commandment is
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house . . . your neighbor’s wife . . . nor anything that is your neighbor’s”
This is not simply about trying to commit adultery, it’s about wanting to be THAT person with THAT wife. It’s about wanting something that’s not meant FOR YOU, that’s not yours to covet. You shouldn’t compare your life to your neighbors and want what they have. It’s a lesson on being grateful for what you have, because otherwise you can be lead yourself down a dangerous, blasphemous path. You can always want more for yourself, yes, as you should, but there’s a difference between wanting what you know you can’t have and wanting something that will challenge or grow you.
For example, you may see someone from your college constantly posting about how often she travels. You’ve never seen her in one place for long and she’s always with a bunch of people! You may decide to find or create reasons to hate her to cope with your feeling of inadequacy. Ask yourself instead: why am I feeling so hateful? Why am I jealous of this person? By asking yourself the question instead of simply allowing negative thoughts, you combat the intention of these thoughts. You may feel jealous because you’re stuck working at a job you cannot take time away from to travel. You may feel hatred because you decided long ago that you were better than this person, so they don’t deserve to do the things you do.
Another question to ask yourself is: do I even want this? A lot of times I see travel photos, or photos of people partying, and I get that FOMO. But I remind myself that when I’m partying with strangers in public places, I’m miserable. When I travel and I’m not bougie, I’m miserable. So these backpacking trips wouldn’t even be enjoyable!
In 2023, I hope everyone focuses on what is meant for them instead of coveting a life that isn’t meant for them.
Love you all xx