When you’re in your mid-twenties, there can be a few seasons throughout the year that are difficult. Not literal seasons, but things like engagement season, wedding season, graduation season, and Summer time. These can all be difficult for different reasons; and social media doesn’t make it any easier.
If you’ve been in a steady relationship for a long time and aren’t yet engaged, engagement and wedding season can be really difficult for you. I can’t count the number of posts I’ve seen online about people watching their Facebook feeds fill up with engagement pictures, wedding pictures, and babies and how they themselves aren’t really doing anything with their lives (not my words, the words of those posting those things).
Summer time can be difficult for anyone, seeing as this is the time everyone is going to the beach and posting endless pictures of themselves doing so. If you’re unhappy with how you look, as many of us are, then this can be a time when you are especially prone to comparing your body to others.
Graduation time can be difficult when you see your peers succeeding if you aren’t in the same place. This one in particular is rough for me right now, when I see my peers graduating from B.A. programs, people younger than me getting their A.A. and moving onto a 4 year in the fall, when I myself am not quite there yet. I graduated high school in 2009. If things had gone according to plan, I would have had my B.A. in 2013; 4 years ago. I could literally have a masters degree right now had things gone smoothly.
However, life happened. I went far away for college, then got homesick. Then my grandfather got cancer and I moved back home, and didn’t go back to school right away. I ended up getting to spend a lot of time with him in the last 8 months before he passed away, and I will cherish that time always. I tried going back to school after he passed, but I was so depressed after losing him that it was extremely difficult for me to get out of bed and go to class, let alone concentrate on the days I managed to go.
Then, I started dating my husband. Life got better, but instead of going back to school, I tried my hand at getting licensed as a Pharmacy Tech. Took courses, paid for them myself, passed the state test, and then got literally one interview in two years.
After that, I finally went back to Community College, and will have my A.A. at the end of July, after finishing up Spring semester this week and taking one class over the Summer. Then, I’ll apply for the Spring 2018 semester at CSUMB, and start my B.A. program towards becoming an English Teacher.
That being said, but I’ve found myself beating myself up for not already having my B.A. like some of my peers, and for not eating as healthy as they do, for not exercising as much as they do, for feeling like I am not as far in my life as they are. There’s no point in doing that, though. I’m genuinely happy for my friends, and excited at their successes in life. Beating myself up isn’t going to help my grades, make time go faster, or make me feel better about the situation.
Comparing where I am in my life to where my friends are at in their lives is literally pointless. What I can do, however, is compare myself now to who I used to be. I’m happily married to an absolutely wonderful man, I’m making great progress with school and with my academic skills, I’m getting better and better at cooking, I’m learning new things about taking care of our apartment, in almost every aspect of my life I am making progress and improving.
The only person we should ever compare ourselves to is our past selves. That is the only person we should ever be competing with. & that is exactly what I will be doing from now on; striving to be better only than my past self.