It’s easy to put people on a pedestal. I always think celebrities, people who attend top schools, and other successful people know something that I don’t. Perhaps they do, but perhaps they worked hard to reach their position.
After college, I tormented myself by idealizing that my peers had better lives than me. My peers got engaged, married, had children, had full time jobs, and traveled the world. I pitied and asked questions such as: Why can’t I be in their position? That person didn’t go to college why are they earning more money than me? Why didn’t I work in high school and college? Asking these questions decreased my self-esteem and made me depressed. For a long time I went off social media because looking at other people’s profiles made me feel inadequate.
I have also idealized my female friendships. Ever since I was young, there were always a few charismatic female classmates that I wanted as close friends. Their names were Victoria– a blonde haired, blue eyed sports-loving elementary classmate, Rita– a lanky, purple haired, hazel eyed, anti-gun advocate and feminist in middle school, Photon-a short Filipina photographer and dancer in high school and Skully– a tattooed Penelope Cruz lookalike in my Communications class in college. I was in awe of them because I wanted to be like them, they were cool! I thought if I was friends with them my life would be better and more exciting. As much as I tried having conversations with them at school or online, nothing really went beyond that, I was still at the acquaintance level. I got mad myself for not being “cool” or “trendy” enough to be friends with them, then I got mad that they didn’t include me in their life.
I overcame my existential squabbling and realized that I placed these girls on a pedestal. Would my life be better if I was friends with them? Not necessarily. Did I have any common interests with them? I had some, but for the most part I was pretty different. Was I in an area where I could hang out with them? No. Were they busy? Yes. Was I busy? Yes. So after asking myself a few questions, I killed my image of them. Yes, they were cool girls, don’t get me wrong, but they have flaws like everybody else, including myself. Is it okay that I’m not so buddy-buddy with them? Yes, because there are always other girls who are willing to hang out and be close.
Little milestones such as working at my two jobs, dating Mr. Squigglekins, and going to school have helped me stop comparing. It just takes up too much brain power. Sometimes I fall into the temptation, but I tell myself that people’s lives are not as perfect as they seem.