is normal a thing?

It’s true, I loathe cliché quotes and life mantras, but really, who doesn’t hate overused-taken way out of context phrases that everyone and their mother seem to live their {rather dull} lives by. If I’m ever repeating something that came out of Marilyn Monroe’s or the fictitious, Carrie Bradshaw’s mouth, and it’s not in a sarcastic manner, you have my full support in never speaking to me again. Seriously, shoot me if I ever have a wall appliqué that says “Live, Laugh, Love!” or a poster that says “Keep Calm and Carry On.”  *Related note, if I’m ever in possession of a wall appliqué or poster in general please know that I obviously had a huge lapse in judgement and admission to a rehab facility will be permissible and needed immediately.

With that being said, I came across this quote a few years ago, and as #basicwhitegirl, as it might sound, It’s something that speaks so much truth. So much. The quote is most frequently attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, (sometimes to Dwight Edwards) but no matter who said it, it’s something that I try to remember daily.

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Think about it, okay? It’s so easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to friends and peers, especially in regards to things like relationships, money, vacations, and material possessions, like houses, cars, and clothes. All of these things are not important in the grand scheme of life, so why should you put pressure on yourself to keep up with the Jones’? If you are constantly comparing yourself to others and striving to be like someone else, It doesn’t give you much room to grow and to become your own person.

*Insert a  “you gotta do you” quote from Pinterest….maybe something like ” Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” – Oscar Wilde*

The other day I was feeling a little run down, and was asking myself why I couldn’t just be “normal?” I mean I’m 26 years old and a good number of my friends are getting married or already married and having kids. I don’t foresee any of that happening to me anytime in the near future (and I’m completely okay with that, really though, I’m still a child.) but it still makes me feel like I’m “behind” and that I’m not living up to the societal norms. …but seriously, who gets to decide what “normal” is anyway?

12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. -2 Corinthians 10:12

Ultimately what I take away from good ol Teddy’s quote, and from 2 Corinthians 10:2 is that by comparing ourselves to one another we are bringing unnecessary unhappiness upon ourselves and robbing ourselves of the joy we could be experiencing if we completely entrusted our futures to Jesus. The most important thing for me to remember when I inevitably start comparing my situation to someone else’s, is that God has a perfect plan for me and He will reveal that perfect plan in His perfect timing. He allows our struggles to serve as a reminder to trust him daily and in every single aspect of our lives. The difficult times we experience help us to appreciate the infinite joy we get from having a relationship with him. If we are without Christ, we are without Joy.

“I sometimes wonder whether all pleasures are not substitutes for joy.”

                                                                                          -C. S. Lewis 


Note: After I wrote this post, I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Cocorrina, and Corina wrote this inspiring piece on getting caught in the comparison trap. Her post is focused on her work as a graphic designer, but I still think it’s applicable to all areas of life.



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