Comparison is the thief of Joy

My own apartment (no roommates) but my place still doesn’t measure up to my cousin’s spot in Virginia. My hair is full and past shoulder length when blown out (shrinkage is real!) but my twist outs still don’t come out as nice as Naptural85’s (look her up on Instagram she’s dope). I can give a few more examples of me comparing myself and my life situation to someone else’s but doesn’t that take away from me appreciating my own blessings?

There is a difference between aspiring to be like someone because they spark inspiration in you and actually envying them and wanting what they have. On Instagram, TheShadeRoom sometimes posts beautiful surprise proposals from couples. Some people see it as inspiration saying “One day that will be me” while some envy and even criticize the couple (usually the woman) saying “Well if she can get a man I just don’t see why I’m single”. Comparing yourself to someone else is the ultimate slap in the face to God (if you’re a believer) as He continues to bless you with things that you take for granted. We don’t know the path that led these individuals to their fortune so we shouldn’t desire their fruits without being aware of their labor.

I remember when I found out my ex got married two years after we broke up. I didn’t care that I knew he wasn’t the one for me, I was just upset that somebody else got the ring. I bashed that women passionately, calling her ugly (but she’s not) and saying things like “I made him better for her…that’s all my hard work”. You know, all the things to make me feel better because I felt like I lost. Not realizing I was just making myself miserable wondering why her and not me. As I matured I realized that there was a different path for me and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. And who’s to say I would’ve been happy as a married woman in my early 20s?! I would have missed out on all the glorious life experiences I’ve had so far.

The miserable feeling is a choice. You are choosing to rob yourself of the joys of your own life as you spend an enormous amount of time wondering why you don’t have what the next person has. Appreciate your apartment because there was a time when you only could afford a room in someone else’s apartment. Love that hair on your head because you probably had a perm once and never had this type of volume and you most likely did the big chop and didn’t even know if it was ever going to grow back. Be happy for that woman who got proposed to in Paris and don’t wonder why her and not you, just simply be happy for her. Your happiness lies within the appreciation you have for your life even if you know there is room for improvement. Your life is yours and no one else’s and you should choose to cherish it and never think that you fall short of anything.

xoxo

Jess

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Single does not mean Lonely

Four years ago on my 25th birthday I felt grown. I’ve had a steady job for the past four years, my relationships with my friends and family were striving and I had finally stuck to a workout plan and ya girl was looking snatched and yes I was single!

Now as we fast forward to me approaching 30, with a new job that I’ve only had for the past three months, some deteriorated family connections and friendships, and don’t even think of asking me when was the last time I did some cardio. I am still single and somehow I have been categorized as “lonely” from people ranging from a 10yr old child to a 40 something male. It might be based on the fact that I have not introduced my family to a boyfriend since, well, never. There was this one dude back in 2011 that one side of my family met but he’s still a myth to the other side, I’ll give you the story on him later on.

By definition, single is “unmarried, unattached, without a partner, free (which is a personal fav)” — loneliness is “feeling sad and unhappy about being socially isolated.”. I am not sure when these two words became coupled but I believe them to still be mutually exclusive. Sure some may say that they feel lonely when not in a relationship but feeling that way sometimes does not make you a lonely person. There is a stigma on being a single woman that makes it hard for the majority to believe that she can be happy while single. That her jubilance can only stem from companionship. That her joyous exterior is only a fa├žade and deep down inside she is secretly wishing for a partner. I am currently in the “when are you gonna have kids?” phase, because I am not quite a full woman until reproduce. Interestingly enough, I don’t hear “when are you gonna get married?” anymore, as if they gave up on that dream for me.

The most frustrating part is that I have friends and family members, females ranging 25-33yrs old questioning their entire existence. “I’m 27 with no kids, that’s crazy”, “I’m almost 30 with no man, why did this happen to me”, “I’m tired of seeing these young girls getting proposed to on Instagram”. Age has put us all in a panic, thinking that we should have a certain status because we’re getting older and maybe it’s linked to the fear of dying alone, I’m not sure, but what I do know is that it’s sickening and quite heartbreaking to hear these grown women with many accolades negate their life achievements and being consumed by the chase of a certain social status.

I use to chase the same thing. When I was 17 I just knew that by 25 I was going to be married with a child right out of college. Well, as you live you learn and I had to learn that God/the universe (yea religion is another subject I’ll talk about later) had a different path for me that what I had convinced myself to be true.

As a 29yr old single woman I would like to tell my sisters that you are not alone. Just because you see happiness through companionship all around you does not mean that you are defective. I’m not saying to give up hope of your dream of having a family of your own with a husband and child/children. I am saying to find happiness in this stage of life that you are in. We only have one life to live so why spend it worried about what we don’t have and when we will have it? Enjoy your days of being single, take up a new hobby (like I’m doing with blogging lol), take yourself out sometimes (I love my solo sushi dates), read more (I just started “An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones…yea I know but it’s not what you think), just do more of whatever you love to do and spread that joy to those around you. Your heart will thank you and your mind will stop punishing your spirit.

 

xoxo

JayEll