Hello mental health champions, how are you doing?
I hope you guys are all doing well. Today I want to talk about comparison and envy. I feel like every single person has felt envy or has dealt with comparison once in their life. And let’s just say- It’s for sure a sucky ass feeling. I always thought that jealousness and comparison would get better the older I got, but let me just say that isn’t the case- or at least it hasn’t been the case yet.
As many of you probably know, I am newly 22 and at the very moment, I feel secure and happy but at times, I still feel lost. I truly wish someone would have prepared us for the changes that happen in your twenties. I didn’t know that the twenties would be this weird game of comparison and jealousy, but it really is. I have noticed a lot of people I love feeling lost with their direction. They either just graduated and are having a hard time finding a job and adjusting to real life after college or they’re still in school and working and enjoying work more. I have people that are taking 6+ years for school, and I have people that are getting a two year degree and working full time. It is a confusing time. Besides the career and school side of things in your twenties, you also have the pressure of everything else that is “supposed” to be coming up in the next few years. You have the pressure of marriage and kids and all the things in between. There’s a stigma around people still living at home in their twenties and there’s a stigma around moving out too early. It seems like the twenties are just a mosh pit of confusion and comparison and it freaking sucks.
Now, for my own self, I have learned quite a lot and know about my value and my path. I know that even though right now I don’t have a Bachelor’s Degree, it doesn't mean I am a failure. I know that it may be taking me longer than the average to get through school and that is 100% okay. I know these things because I am very secure and comfortable with the direction my life is moving me in. It wasn’t all that easy though to get to this point and I still do waiver and compare on certain days. I want to just tell you guys some words of advice.
First off, comparing your financial situations in your 20s is hard. Everyone is paying for different things and you shouldn’t compare. A lot of people in their twenties are already 100k in debt for school. Other people owe less than 20k. Some people have car payments, some don’t. Some are moving out and trying to pay for rent and to just live, while others are still at home and trying to save. I realized that everyone is at such different places. How can I compare my financial situation to someone else when we have two completely different lives? I used to get down on myself because of the money I had saved. I would be so bummed I couldn’t save more. A lot of this was because I got sick a lot. I would have to take time off and heal. During that time though, money would stop since I wasn’t working. I used to get so jealous of the people around me with big savings because I so desperately wanted that for myself. I learned though, that we have been dealt different cards. I learned a lot of lessons through my sicknesses and a lot about the people around me. Although I never wish to be sick, it was a growing experience being so sick at a young age. Although I may have lost money, I know I will get that money back and will be even more proud of myself because it means so much more. I learned that comparison is the thief of joy and you truly don’t know what goes on behind closed doors when it comes to finances. Think about all the famous people that go bankrupt. From our perspective, we would have never guessed that they had no money because of the mask they put on for the world. It is the same with social media. Someone may post a brand new luxury car and we may think they have it all. They may be handing over every single check they get to pay for that car. It can be easy to be jealous when you see people getting new cars, homes, apartments, etc. But in reality, you never truly know their situation and that’s why you should never compare.
I saw an article talking about Jay-Z before he was famous. They were saying how he was dripping head to toe in Gucci and designer. He had more gold on him than an olympic medalist. When he finally rose to fame and became the famous rapper Jay-Z, all of that went away. You want to know why? He no longer had to try and prove himself. He no longer had to “fake it until you make it”. Everyone knows Jay-Z and that he is beyond wealthy and famous. He doesn’t have to “prove” it to anyone. I think about this frequently and I think a lot of people can take notes from this. Some of the poorest people have the most expensive closet. This also ties back into the fact that social media is incredibly fake and you should never compare yourself to someone else’s highlight reel.
Beyond finances, you just have so much social pressure in your twenties. There is the pressure about having a relationship, getting married, and starting to have kids and that’s a lot to deal with. I think it is also hard for people our age when it comes to social media. A lot of other generations didn’t have to deal with an entire feed of announcements and people sharing their best moments. You can sit and wonder why your life doesn’t measure up or how you feel so “far behind”. I just want to remind you that you are not at all, far behind. Everyone has their own path and there is no need to compare to others. You only should compare yourself. I always ask myself, “Am I a better person today than I was a year ago?” If my answer is yes, then I am proud of how far I came. I only need to compare myself to me! I promise you when you stop looking left and right at what everyone else is doing, you will be able to fully give yourself to your own goals and dreams!
I am pissed at Disney Channel for not better preparing us about what happens in our twenties...LOL. I never knew that the twenties could be such a confusing and beautiful time period. I never knew that there would be this entire shift with growing pains. I feel like I am sometimes going through a second adolescence. But I want to just remind anyone reading this that your twenties is a weird time and it’s okay to feel certain things about it. But please remember that you are more than enough and you truly can’t compare your situation to someone else’s!
Talk to you soon brain battlers, Gracie <3
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