Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Making Comparisons


Last week, I raved about how I started taking a ballet class again. I was so proud of myself and I was under the illusion that I wouldn't succumb to the negative thinking that I was so prone to in high school. You know, the "I'm horrible, That girl is so much better than me, I look like a fat cow" kind of thinking. I thought I had outgrown it.

Well, I hadn't.

I walked into the class confident, but left wanting to cry. I realized I'm not as flexible as I was two years ago, and my balance isn't what it used to be. My feet wouldn't turn out like they should, and I didn't look like the graceful swan I felt like last week.

What really made things worse, though, was that a bendy-straw fifteen year old decided to stand in front of me. She was good. Like, really good. Clearly she dances a lot and the teacher pointed it out several times. (And I thought I was past seeking a dance teacher's approval.) Instead of enjoying myself, I jealously made dagger eyes at Miss Twist-Tie.

I left the Y wondering if I should even go back to ballet next week. (Yes, sometimes I have Drama Queen tendencies.) It wasn't until later on, when I was reminded of something my dear friend Ali told me several years ago, that I realized I was being a tad whiney.

 She said she once heard a quote by Theodore Roosevelt who said, "Comparison is the thief of joy." If I want to be unhappy, all I have to do is start comparing myself to people. Somebody will always be better at something than me. I'm always going to think someone is prettier, or kinder, or smarter. And, you know what? That's not how we're meant to live!

Now, I'm not saying we should march around with our chests puffed out exclaiming, "I'm the best at everything!" But I guess I'm saying that we should learn to cut ourselves a break every once in a while. Yeah, tiny ballerina girl was better than me. So what? Am I going to let that prevent me from enjoying myself? I'm praying that next Monday I won't.

Do you ever find yourself making comparisons to the people around you? How do you stop, or prevent it from getting you down?

Love, Alli

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