Do you ever compare yourself to others? Of course you do. Everyone does. I do. Who doesn't? Dead people, I guess. At least they don't have road rage. What? Have you not seen World War Z? Honestly, I liked the book better.
I was at my niece's birthday dinner the other night, and her father raved about his friend's daughter who was about to graduate from college. She'd already received job offers with a six-digit salary. Instinctually, I wanted to get into a debate about why that's important for him (the comparison of his friends' children to his own). But it would be pointless, so my mind went silent.
Have you ever been stuck in traffic and needed to be in the next lane, but no one would let you in because they're assholes, and you just needed to be in that lane cuz it moved about a FPH (foot per hour) faster than yours did? Tried to make that sentence last longer. Then you wedge your way in, and then found that the lane that you were in suddenly moved two FPH faster, and now you wanted to be in that lane, but it just so happens the person in that lane is also an asshole, and you swear the universe was working against you and wished you had a gun? Whew!
As a writer, I find myself comparing myself to other writers, and given my age, I get jealous when youngens, like Victoria Roth, has everything that I'd love to have. Well, except breasts. If I had breasts, I don't think I'd write much and probably had let myself go because how else am I going to grow breasts? She doesn't have a penis, and I'm attached to mine, literally. Sorry.
I learned long ago that comparing myself to others in any area of life wasn't good, just like wanting to be in the next lane can create stress. Everyone will arrive at their destination on their own time; it's the nature of things. Not all oak trees will grow at the same rate, everyone's lifespan will differ, and everyone's impact on the world will be different. What we have control over is how we react to the outside world that we have no control over, as stated in THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE.
What everyone truly wants is happiness. We think we'd be happy if we got that really expensive purse, or that car because the ladies will love it, or that book deal because riches are just around the corner, or a better body because better sex is in the next room. OK. That last one has some truth. But happiness is innate within, despite what we have and what we do. Just look at kids. They have nothing, no titles, no fame, no glory. Put them together and leave them alone and they'll have a day filled with play, blissed out of their minds. Gawd! Blissed isn't a word?
Tom Shadyac, who directed Ace Ventura, Liar Liar, etc, had found himself in a brutal bicycle accident. How do you find yourself in an accident? It led him to explore what it means to be human in a documentary called I Am. One of the areas of exploration is why we accumulate so much materialistic stuff. The answer: we're trying to find peace, happiness. That rush of buying something is like a dopamine hit, but because this isn't something that can be maintained, we buy more and more stuff. And I get this, as I type on my Mac, listening to music on my iPhone, and stalk, I mean, research literary agents on my iPad, while my midlife crisis car sits in my garage along with four snowboards.
Now, I didn't go into debt buying all this stuff. I clearly knew I wasn't getting happier attaining snowboards, but I loved the graphics on them, so I hang them on my wall. My Mac is seven years old, and though, I would love to upgrade to the new Mac with retina, I don't think I need a faster processor to type on MS Word, since my typing speed hadn't improved much. I have an iPad 2, again I'd love to upgrade to the fifth iteration, but with Apple holding back on some of the features, like Touch ID, I chose to wait. And the car. Well, that's another story.
I'm content writing, telling my stories, ranting, and traveling. I'm planning another trip to Hawaii for three months. I'm coming back!