I recently watched the new Netflix special, Relatable starring Ellen DeGeneres after seeing her as a guest on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman where they mentioned her comedy special. I loved her stand-up so much that I watched it a second time with Arlen to show him what he had missed!
Ellen seemed to be able to hit the perfect balance between being humorous and being entirely relatable, and I walked away turning over certain moments of her special in my head.
One quote that really stuck out to me was right at the end of her special, where she is talking about people. She says that we are all on a path. Our own, individual path, and we shouldn't be on anyone else's path. I think this sentiment has been said before, but it bears repeating sometimes.
It is really easy to get caught up in other people's lives. We have so much access to everyone that it's difficult not to play the comparison game with one another, both online and in real life. Not to mention humans are predisposed to judging where we are in relation to others in multiple hierarchies (thanks psychology!). So, her sentence stuck out to me.
Often, I will fall into that comparison trap, spending hours online or thinking over things in my head while I'm working, thinking of all the ways I haven't "made it" in ways I see many of my peers have. I ask myself why I am not further along in my career or life; Why I don't have certain things that I see others have- whether that be experiences or material things); Why I am not living in a way that I see others living or chasing after opportunities that others are chasing.
This little tid-bit from an hour long special was a simple reminder that it's ok to not be following in the same path as others. They have there own path and I have mine. Mine may be winding and frustrating and have loads of bumps along the way, but it it MY path to take. The path I have already taken has made me who I currently am, and I wouldn't want to change those experiences because ultimately, I might be a different person all together
Sure, I think that feeling certain things, like envy, can be a great way to catapult you or me into action, but only when we find the root cause for those feelings. Whenever I am feeling that tinge of envy towards another person, I try to evaluate where those feelings are coming from. Usually, my envy stems from feeling like I am not doing enough in some way, or I am not measuring up enough to another person. Sometimes that envy pushes me to work harder where I was slacking off a bit. But other times, I simply fall into this downward spiral of negativity where I feel like I am just never going to make it to X or Y, and that's not very productive!
So, if you are like me and sometimes fall into the comparison trap or feel envious of another person's path in life, just remember (as I will try to remind myself!) that we are all on our OWN, individual paths. My goals in life are going to be very different from yours or someone else that I see who is similar to me in their life or career or hobbies. And we may reach milestones at very different times in our lives and that is OK! We are all just trying to figure things out as we continue to grow into our truest selves. Like a flower, some of us are working on establishing our roots while others are just beginning to bloom. Some of us might be dropping petals without realizing that a new seed has started that will grow even larger and brighter than our previous flower.
It's all a part of life and we just need to remind ourselves that it's ok to follow a different path, as long as it is the right path for you.