Tuesday, September 3, 2013
The general act of comparing can be a fun activity. For instance, what's the best soda? Coke or Pepsi? Obviously, the answer is Coke. Just try to pretend you can look at an advertisement for Coca Cola and not immediately start salivating over a frosty glass of fountain Diet Coke. Plus, Polar Bears. Win.
Comparing rates? What a great time! Why pay more when you can pay less? Comparing options? Do we want to go bowling or do we just want to go out drinking? (Drinking, because I never exactly want to go bowling.) Comparing Arrested Development with lesser sitcoms? Now, we've got ourselves a stew going...
But, comparing becomes less fun when you begin to add yourself into the equation.
It's hard to remember, when we're sitting in the Peach Pit of Despair (which is the "90210" spin off I'm working on) that there is no clear path. There is no plan or syllabus to life. There is no timeline that says where we should be at certain stages of our life. There are "societal norms" instead, and those fuck us up.
I'm 27 and I'm friends with people my age who are married and moving into their own homes and having kids and making decent money in their careers. And yet, I'm nowhere near being married or having children, I can barely make my rent every month - never mind finding the money for a down payment on a home (or even being able to successfully get a loan!) Yet, I am doing well in my career... I'm just not making any money in it.
I'm guilty of looking around sometimes and thinking, "Man. I wish I could be like her. I wish I could have a car to get around/a house with a yard/a dog/a baby/peace and happiness/money to travel/money to go out to a nice dinner/money to go out to a not-nice dinner/The Muppet Show series on DVD/the ability to socialize without being terrified/the willpower to go to the gym or at least just stop drinking so much alcohol/nice arms/friends in high places that have boats/etc."
But then I realize that I chose a different path when I came to that giant fork in the road. I didn't go to school and major in something that would easily land me a job. I didn't even pick a career that would promise ANY financial gain. And when I did have a job - I quit it to follow my dream! I chose the least practical way of life. And now I have to deal with the consequences: living in a TINY apartment that costs a lot, eating pb&J more than I'd like to, drinking watery beers instead of the more delicious and expensive cocktails and constantly worrying about EVERYTHING... but at least getting to do shows all the time and perform for a living and develop my skill as a writer and performer.
There will always be other people doing "better" in life than we are on paper. But we don't know what anybody else is going through. Some rich people might be the unhappiest people in the world. Life might be hard and difficult sometimes, but we're all just doing what we can to get by. We need to give ourselves a little more credit for what we do have and just for being alive and making it this far. Because god damn, it can be hard sometimes.
But, that being said, I will never stop comparing myself to people who own The Muppet Show series on DVD. That's just... I mean, come on. It's not fair!