This past weekend two people from my high school bought houses. I’m not even kidding. They took their obligatory selfies in front of those obnoxious SOLD stickers and I sat back and threw up in my mouth a little.
And while they start settling into years of mortgage debt with their two-bedroom, single-fronted, fucking gorgeous houses, here I am settling into a weekend of Facebook stalking these house-buying friends and wondering how on earth they’ve got it all together before the age of 25.
I mean, when did this happen? When did we shift from being broke-ass losers with part-time jobs lamenting the fact we’d never get a job to, well… this? I was all ready to mooch off my parents for another 40 years but then you had to go and get your life together. Now my plans for ultimate freeloading seem trivial and lazy and honestly, it’s all your fault.
These days as I creep closer to my mid-twenties, it’s hard not to feel depressed as I mindlessly scroll along my Facebook feed. It seems like everything is happening to everyone else and I just seem to be falling by the wayside. My best friend from primary school just got engaged, my Year 8 maths buddy is doing a year-long stint in Europe, while others are kicking goals left, right and centre. And me? Well I’m three years out of uni, still looking for that dream job (not even considering a house) and enduring a whole lot of rejection on my way there. Suffice to say, my self-esteem has never been lower.
I have this thing where I keep telling myself things like, ‘hey, you’re still young, you’ve got plenty of time to work things out’ and ‘Jon Hamm was waiting tables in Hollywood until he was 29! I’m fine!’
But what happens when I inevitably reach that point when, yeah, I should really have things worked out by now. What then?
Seeing others out there ticking boxes off their imaginary Life Checklist makes me feel like my own Life Checklist has been captioned with a very real label: ‘The Art Of Failure’.
So mid-meltdown and on the verge of a quarter-life crisis, I decided it was time to quit comparing myself to those “successful” friends I kept seeing online. Obvs this is easier said than done, so it took me a while. But here’s a few tips that helped me learn how to do just that.
Count the clichés
You know the routine:
- the aforementioned selfie in front of a SOLD sticker
- the obligatory bragging in front of the Eiffel Tower
- the “I said YES!!!!1!!!’ engagement photo
- the giggling group shot at the winery tour birthday party (felt hat obligatory).
The list goes on.
By picking these cliché posts out, it really makes you realise this isn’t a reflection of real life at all – it’s just how people think they *should* portray themselves on social media.
Basically social media is one big competitive wormhole, and we’ve got to stop thinking that our own personal milestones don’t exist or aren’t valuable unless they’re posted to Facebook (and get more than 100 likes). Which brings me to...
Imagine them all naked
And by naked I mean without the Valencia filter. Sure they look fabulous and happy and all that, but for all you know their lives could be fucking miserable.
“Sally” could actually be in a huge amount of debt, with a shitty boss who makes her life miserable. “Lauren” actually wants to become an artist, but is stuck working in finance because she was too afraid to disappoint her parents. And “Betty”, who’s been travelling across the US for six months, is actually cleaning toilets for a living to fund her adventurous travel plans.
But you or I wouldn’t know that, because that’s not what we see online. We see these shining examples of success, all wrapped up neatly in a FaceTune-filtered Instagram post.
Take heed of the good things you have in life
Whether that’s a great gal pal, a killer internship or even just the knowledge that you’ll get there eventually – this is what should be your guiding force, not the scarcity of your LinkedIn profile.
Remember that failure is better than success
Let me share something with you dear reader: failure is the one that gets you out of bed in the morning, the one that makes you strive to do better and try harder. It makes you a better person, success doesn’t.
Success is temporary, but failure… well, that’s just inevitable. And to be honest, we’ve really got to start feeling okay about failing, because failing is what makes us who we are: resilient, powerful and badass bitches. It makes us realise that yeah, it’s not all sunshine and daisies, but we’ll pick ourselves up and learn from it. Failure is necessary, so don’t be afraid of it.
After all, you can wear $400 boots
I mean, I don’t even want to buy a house right now! That sounds like a scary fucking reality. I’d much rather be saving for a trip to South America or trying to justify buying a pair of $400 winter boots.
Think of all the travel you’ll be missing, the lavish dinners you’ll have to skip and the crazy expensive Yeezys you won’t be able to buy because you’re tied to some archaic budget you’ve set for yourself.
Quit comparing yourself to everyone around you. You’ve got it pretty good too. And if you ever stop believing that? Here’s a link to some pretty top notch boots. You’re welcome.