Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Like A Ton Of Bricks

Something hit me pretty hard the other day.

I guess my brain had been thinking on what I posted a few days ago and maybe also on some of the other posts I've written recently, because all of a sudden I had this thought:

I only ever compare up.

Never down.

I suddenly realized that I never compare myself to someone or something else in a positive way. Like, I'd never say "Hey, I'm WAY prettier than that chick." I'd only ever notice the girls who were prettier (skinnier/fitter/taller/etc.) than me.

I don't notice the really awful pictures people post online (or even the mediocre ones) and say "Man, I take MUCH better pictures than that person." I only ever pay attention to the ones that seem so much more amazing than the ones I take.

I don't compare myself to the person who's become a down and out, living on the street dealing with drug addiction or mental illness or poor life choices and say "Wow, my life is SO much more together than theirs, in fact, I'm doing spectacularly well compared to them." I only compare myself to the people I feel are doing better than me. The married/home owning/puppy dog hugging ones.

I don't compare down.

I don't tell myself or remind myself or point out to myself about any thing or any way I'm better than someone else. And even typing the phrase "I'm better than someone else" makes me want to crawl into a hole and die because oh lord the arrogance to even think that!

So, I'm not sure what to do with this, but this realization has hit me like a ton of bricks.

I only ever compare myself in a way that puts me in a negative light. I only ever compare up.

I'm kind of shocked to have realized this.

Now what?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my culture first nations your realization is a gathering of wisdom and it is a very special part of growing older in our souls.

We are blessed even with challanges they help us learn and grow in our wisdom.


All My Relations.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010 8:47:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take a deep breath. Look around at all the people who have less ability, less capability, just less. See what they do and accomplish.

You are very fortunate.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010 9:26:00 am  
Anonymous Dominic said...

So long as you don't reach the point where you start telling people how much better than them you are, and in what ways, you're fine ;)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010 1:41:00 pm  
Anonymous Dominic said...

P.S. Your comments are hating me lately - half of them vanish into nothingness and the other half take multiple goes to get published..

Wednesday, April 07, 2010 1:42:00 pm  
Blogger FigJam said...

Comparing up can be good if it drives you to be better at something while comparing down can cause complacency to set in. As with everything a middle ground is best: be happy with what you have but always aim to do better.

Oh and the "married/home owning/puppy dog hugging ones" are not doing better, just doing different. That's one comparison I think that falls outside the whole up/down spectrum.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010 2:27:00 pm  
Blogger Doitagain said...

I never comment because man, can I ramble on and on, but im going to try it today. =)

First: I love your blog, I read it every single day and really relate to a lot of the things you speak about.

B: I think it is natural for us to do what you're talking about and not 'compare up', because in a way when we do that we're saying "im better than that person" and that is a tough reality to live in. For me, at least. I don't want to feel superior, just equal. But I think honestly, there is no equal-there will always be people who take better pictures than us and other people who we blow away. Its life.

In conclusion: I felt for you the other day when you described how you felt other people's photos were better than yours-I am horrible at taking pics, they always come out blurry and your pictures blow me away. Fact.

You're a little bit younger than me (<--gross exaggeration)and if there is one small bit of advice I would pass on, it is to not be so hard on yourself. (this is so silly, but...) You remind me so much of myself when I was your age range and out of all of the silly things I did in my life, that is the only thing I would change. Be nicer and more supportive of me.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010 3:21:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

Thank you Anonymous. :)
All My Relations.

Thank you Anonymous #2, I do feel fortunate. It's very true.

I won't Dominic :)
And, sorry that comments are being so mean/poopy :(

Middle ground FigJam? What is this mystical place of which you speak? ;)

Well Doitiagain,
First: Thanks!
B: That's true, I don't want to be or feel *better* than anyone, just equal to those I admire or look up to.
Finally: I'm sure your pictures are good too :)
And thanks for the (good) advice, being easier on myself is definitely something I'm trying to learn to do.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010 3:28:00 pm  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Perhaps you'll realise you rock now then. At last.

Thursday, April 08, 2010 5:01:00 am  
Anonymous said...

I think what you're talking about is having moments of humility. You don't take certain things for granted.

Thursday, April 08, 2010 7:04:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...

Perhaps I shall Jonathan :) That'd be nice ;)

No, ATWYS, I certainly don't take certain things for granted, you're right.

Thursday, April 08, 2010 5:13:00 pm  
Blogger the one in the back said...

"I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself." - D.H. Lawrence

...for the times you feel like you don't measure up to others.

Thursday, April 08, 2010 8:44:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...


Thursday, April 08, 2010 9:15:00 pm  
Blogger Ms Behaviour said...

I have discovered a way to feel better about yourself by comparing down. Compare down to yourself. For example, think about all the things you have accomplished since X years ago. Or all the things you have learned since you were a teenager. Or all the good decisions you made this year, that you wouldn't have made last year. That way, you reinforce the good things in your life at no-one else's expense.

Friday, April 09, 2010 10:26:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

Good idea :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010 12:34:00 pm  
Blogger SSV said...

Comparing down seems a bit foolish because you are relying on the shortcomings of others to feel better about yourself (isn't that why children bully each other?!?)...comparing up can provide motivation to improve yourself and be the best that you can be. As long as you don't obsess about the imperfections you have or the things you'll never be able to improve, then I don't see a problem with only comparing up.

Just don't get stressed out about it!

Thursday, April 22, 2010 10:52:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...

De-stress, that sounds like a plan :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010 4:29:00 pm  

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