Christmas and Comparison

First and foremost: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from your friends at VT Vogue! Students are currently on our month and a half (yes, month and a half) long break from school full of free laundry, delicious foods, and catching up on sleep!

With my newly found free time, I often found myself laying in bed, browsing through Stories, scrolling down my feed, and double tapping an infinite amount of meticulously edited holiday pictures with a perfectly concocted caption to match.

My contentment was replaced with a feeling of inadequacy. Thoughts like: “I was only invited to three ugly sweater parties, how did she go to five?” swarmed my brain. As “less than” began to imprint itself on me, I quickly noticed how every girl on my feed had not one, but five or six perfect holiday party ensembles, where each outfit was a fourth cheesy, a half elegant, and a quarter sexy. Upon further examination, I noticed each one of their manicured hands held an expertly selected after Dirty Santa gift. And here I was, in my childhood bed, ratty sweats and unwashed hair in full swing feeling completely inadequate; and a little guilty.  I mean, after all, these are my friends, some of them more like sisters than friends, and I am totally envious of these glamorous lives they seem to live. Keyword: seem.

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As I saw yet another all too perfect post, my mind floated to when this sweet friend of mine was in my tiny dorm room, sobbing her heart out over a housing contract. And in that moment, I remembered that Instagram is quite literally a snapshot of someones life; it’s a single second out of their day, not their whole reality. The people posting these beautiful photos have mean parents, strained relationships, and hard classes. Their lives aren’t exclusively extravagant parties and perfectly decorated homes. The people we follow have real, hard problems and bad hair days and get blown off and struggle; just like you and me. There normally isn’t a highlight on Instagram titled “The Parts of My Life I Don’t Like”, so we too often assume that bad days and hard nights don’t exist outside of our own lives.

Personally, this feeling of inadequacy grows during the month of December. I’m not sure if it’s because of the number of festive gatherings, sweet, themed dates missed, a too small wardrobe, or a gift list twice as big as my budget.

And so, this holiday season, let us cut the comparison and make room for the grace. I promise no one will notice your gold earrings clashing with your silver ring, nor will they be able to tell the difference between your infamous stuffing and Cracker Barrel’s best. Take a breath, get off Instagram. hug those you love, make cookies, even if they are instant, take a deep breath and rejoice in the season.

Comparison is often labeled as the thief of joy. On this Christmas, I implore you to hold steadfast to your joy. Happy Holidays! 

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