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Culture of Comparison: The Brick Wall

We compare and contrast our lives to total strangers and devalue ourselves for it.
We compare ourselves to acquaintances and close friends, and devalue ourselves again.


I often feel I am behind in life. But it’s my life. My path. My failures and mistakes. 

The last few days I have been imagining a brick wall. It’s my brick wall. You may not have a brick wall to get through or it may be shorter or higher. It may be in your past or in your future.
These brick walls are invisible to others and can be really hard to explain.
Some are kept secret. The shame of that struggle kept buried.

So, you go on. Climbing.
Wondering why no one else seems to struggle like you do.
They seem so perfect. And you’re such a failure.
I’m clinging to a brick that says “unemployed” and you’ve been promoted.

And then all I can see is that wall of unemployment. It closes in. That’s it. Everyone pack it in. It’s all over.

My brain goes to this place constantly.
Despite the fact that I know, a job does not equal fulfilment.
I have an anxiety disorder that I’m still trying to figure out.
Currently, I know this. She’s a storyteller. And she’s really bad at it. Like, jumps to conclusions, doesn’t provide compelling evidence, just really sloppy work.

It’s all so difficult.
I am repeatedly telling myself not to compare myself to others. We project ourselves in a very certain way. Cough, social media, cough.
It is a very destructive habit. Like, a crushing, overwhelming toxic cloud of mind reading and jumping to conclusions.
And a few more bricks are added, thanks to the handy anxiety disorder I carry around.
Whispering “failure, failure, failure.”
I haven’t fucking failed yet. I’m just paralysed thanks to this idiotic idea that people are the same.

That seems like an excellent conclusion.
We have different goals, different measures of happiness and different brick walls.

-Alison Foletta


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