on comparison

Truth be told, I love reading blogs. I love seeing what other people are up to and getting a peek into their lives. I also enjoy just talking to people (IRL, oh my) and hearing how they’re feeling, how they’re livin — you know, seeing how the other 99.999etc% lives.

That said, this also runs anyone at risk for the comparison game. Man, so-no-so ran 8 miles this morning, made a delicious veggie omelette, tweeted really fascinating articles all day while at work, also went to a workout class at night, roasted the shit out of that chicken and brussel sprouts dinner, aaand had time to blog about it — all with a smile on his/her face.

Damnit.

Whether or not this is actually what went down in real life (that’s the tricky thing about blogging, you can disclose how little or much information as you want to) is what can lead to comparison. Sometimes I find myself eating a dinner of scrambled eggs and a veggie burger at 10pm (mealofchampions) and finishing off an $8 bottle of Cabernet opened up a week ago (yikes) and wondering why I’m exhausted from a 5 mile run that happened nearly 15 hours earlier. Any why I don’t have the energy to write, or maybe even foam roll, or come up with something a little more exciting to eat than what’s in front of me.

Which is why you have to step back. Your health and happiness is the most personal thing in the world because well…it’s your self. For those go-getters who can pack in a ton in the day, stick to a challenging training cycle, work, cook, and capture their life online, that’s awesome. And inspiring. But that doesn’t mean you are lacking something if you don’t follow suit.

Training for this marathon is one of the most rewarding, yet exhausting things I’ve done. And while I catch myself saying “the mileage isn’t even that crazy compared to other people’s” I need to stop myself. 40ish miles a week is a lot…for me. Waking up at 6am to work out and then working till nearly 8pm (give or take) a night is also a lot. If I can cook for myself three times a week, I call that an accomplishment. If I can avoid finishing a bag of tortilla chips in two days as an after dinner “shit-im-marathon-training-and-my-appetite-is-insatiable,” then cuuuuue the fireworks.

And regardless of what other people are doing, you can still do “everything right” and not feel your best. You can floss three times a day and get a cavity. Eat super healthy and not have six-pack abs. Work out five days a week and have your energy levels drop, not rise. Take Vitamin D, meditate, drink eight classes of water a day, smile more, down-dog, drink kale and ginger juice, and volunteer once a week, and still feel like crap every now and then.

And that’s because “perfection” in and of itself is never attainable. But knowing that being and feeling imperfect is okay, and figuring out what life you can lead to feel your happiest and healthiest while recognizing that every day isn’t going to be great — then, in my mind, that’s just about perfect.

About lschwecherl

Growth director at Greatist, lover of running, words, mountains, autumn, seltzer, the trumpet, and talking in person.

Posted on February 22, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. Sing it sister! You’re right on about embracing imperfection. As an entrepreneur, I am scared out of my wits sometimes comparing myself to others with their instantly successful businesses and amazing lifestyles. But even then, if you look under the covers, everyone struggles. I posted about it this week on my blog and it’s helped to keep everything in perspective. Thanks for the great post. x

  2. Are you sure you’re only 24? :)

  3. I love every single word of this post.

  4. Thanks for the reminder! I’m doing the best that I can on any given day, and that’s all that matters. Great post!

  5. Oh Laura, I love you. You are a fantastic writer and you’re always so insightful! Great post, girl!

  6. Definitely my blog life and real life are like a roller coaster, sometimes I can ‘do it all’ other times, I feel exhausted and unmotivated. I guess I consider that the ‘norm’ having an ever changing student schedule, so I have no idea what my perfect could be right now…mostly just getting my masters done will be a huge relief!

  7. Great post. Achieving perfection is like reaching the speed of light, as you get closer it keeps getting harder to get any closer.
    No one is really perfect,they just seem that way sometimes.

  8. This is such a great post and a great reminder to all of us, even non-bloggers. I compare myself to bloggers, friends on Facebook, etc. and it’s just so counter-productive. People basically run their own PR on Facebook and on blogs, so they’re not always going to post about things that went wrong or whatever. We’re all on different paths anyway. As long as we’re happy, then that’s perfection!

    • Exactly! And this is true on and off the Internet. But blogging is such a great example since I feel like it’s amplified. And you’re absolutely right — whichever path leads to personal happiness and fulfillment (as long as it isn’t hurting anyone else) is all that matters (:

  9. Love this post! Spot on.

  10. What an amazing post! You have no idea how badly I needed to read this right now. Thank you!

  11. So true! As much as seeing other bloggers’ amazing accomplishments help me to dream bigger, sometimes it can make me not appreciate where I’m at. Thanks for the reminder :)

  12. LOVE this. and it’s so true. i’ve had to come to terms with this over the past few weeks. life is just so busy-and i don’t have time for it all. i can only do what i can do. and i can’t beat myself up for it. i’m sure not going to stay up at night worrying about it. :)

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