Me vs. _______

competitionI know I’m not supposed to compare myself to other people. It’s not healthy and it doesn’t help me feel better and blah blah blah. But shit, unless you live in solitary confinement you’re bound to watch other people live their lives, even if only for a few seconds. And those few seconds let you make assumptions (which you just know are totally spot-on) about those people. It’s not just that you see, and can compare yourself to, other people on a daily basis, but you see your friends and acquaintances through social media and can compare yourself to them too. Frankly, I think much social media activity is based purely on people trying to show off how awesome they are. We live in a competitive world where pure altruism simply does not exist, and so, it’s easy to make comparisons. With that in mind, here are the people I often compare myself to.

My Closest Friends

My three closest and oldest friends are doing great things with their lives. One works in finances, one in academia, the other in medicine. They are great people doing great things and I am genuinely happy for them, but also genuinely jealous. Jealous that they get to live fulfilling lives and make an impact on the world around them. Meanwhile, I write a blog.

My Girlfriend

I admire Jayee for her persistence, work ethic, and social consciousness. As with my closest friends, I’m happy that she has found success and simultaneously jealous of it. She works full-time for an environmental non-profit, part-time for an upcoming HR organization, and volunteers for another environmental non-profit. Somehow, in the midst of all that, she finds the time and energy to love me. I see her hard at work, earning a living, making strides towards improving the local environment. Meanwhile, I make kale smoothies that are supposed to be good for me.

My Facebook Friends

My Facebook timeline is so full of goddamned baby pictures it makes me want to empty my ileostomy bag on my laptop. I seriously need to start using Chrome along with this extension. While the baby photos are just annoying, the irksome part is finding out about all the fun other people are having. They’re eating delicious meals (but not before taking photos of them), going on vacations, training for marathons, landing new jobs, moving into new condos, and buying new cars. Meanwhile, I’m stalking them on Facebook.

Well-Dressed Men

When I do get out and make little trips around the city, I usually do so casual clothes. When I see a guy wearing a nice suit or some other professional attire, it’s a bummer. That’s because my nice clothes are now too big for my shrunken frame, and on top of that, it’s hard to wear suits and other nice clothing because of my wound and my ostomy bag and my drainage bag. Then I think those well-dressed guys probably have good jobs, make good money, and generally live in good health. Meanwhile, I’m wearing track pants and a sweatshirt.

People Who Drive Expensive Cars

One of my life’s dreams is to own an Acura TL (the model year can be anywhere between 2009 and 2013). I whisper, “someday” to myself whenever I see one pass by. That dream is a long way off, and that sucks. What sucks even more is when I see people roughly my age driving nice cars, TLs or otherwise. I assume that they either have great jobs or wealthy parents. Either way, they’re better off than me, and they get to feel the joy of cruising around in a really beautiful machine. Meanwhile, my dad is scared to let me drive his Honda CR-V.

I know there are lots of people out there who have it worse than I do, but as I mentioned in a previous post, that knowledge really isn’t very comforting when you also know there are lots of people who have it better. If someday I get a good job and a nice condo and that Acura TL, maybe I won’t be so quick to compete. Nah, I’ll probably do it then too, but at least then I’ll feel better about what I can include in my biography.

Image via Project Management Tips

About rasheedclarke

Award-winning author. Marathon runner. Exceptional dresser. I'd like to be all those things.


  1. Kyla P

    The only person you should strive to be better than, is the person you were yesterday. Keep progressing my friend.

  2. Pingback: Shorter distance, more clothing | Rasheed Clarke

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