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The Thief Called Comparison, The Toothache Called Blogger Envy.




I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram. Some days ago I laid in bed and indulged, I scrolled up down, side to side. I can't quite remember what I saw but I remember a dark cloud suddenly hanging over my head as I sunk into my bed. A few minutes later I shoved my ipad aside and reached for my phone. I checked my bbm updates and there it was; Comparison is the thief of joy

Indeed. Looking at the picture perfect lives of others and wondering why everyone else's life is much better than mine sapped the joy out of me. At my age I'm wise enough to know that the cliche; 'all that glitters is not gold' is indeed true, and that those flawless filtered pictures are just that; pictures. Yet... 

Admittedly it was more than the pictures, it was seeing people making moves, achieving, accomplishing. I was seeing ideas that I once had, being brought to life by someone else and me saying to myself; wait, you thought of this a while ago, what stopped you? It was also probably the numerous perfect-pretty wedding proposals and wedding pictures. It was the perfect bodies with the flattest bellies and the curviest bums. And little by little, unknown to me, with each picture and each passing thought I got less and less happy.

And that's what happens when you ignore the blessings in your own life and focus on that of others. For those moments I forgot that as I am, I'm a cause of envy to others, I forgot about my own accomplishments, I forgot about the numerous blessings in my life. In that moment I forgot all the reasons I have to be thankful. 
       Yes, what actually happens when you ignore your blessings and focus on the blessings of others is that you begin to feel jealous, or envious. I rarely ever feel that way. But...

This brings me to something I read this morning; Blog(ger) Envy. 

So it seems a lot of bloggers have this and it's quite natural. I suppose it's the feeling you get when you visit another person's blog and begin to compare it with yours. You notice that that blogger has more readers, more comments, more content, is more creative than you are, her posts are a lot more intellectual than yours, her readers are a lot more supportive and generally her blog is just better than yours... And joy begins to slip away from you as envy seeps in.

This is very understandable but I must have missed the memo and my situation was the complete reverse. For months after I started my blog I was so keen on it succeeding that I somehow became oblivious to other blogs besides the usual gossip blogs that a long period of consumption had made me accustomed to. I knew some of my readers had blogs, some started after I started mine, some long before I started mine, but truth be told it never quite occurred to me to visit, know what they talked about, support them or leave a comment. Not because I didn't wish them well, but basically because I just did not have the time. You see, unlike most other personal blogs that do one post a day, every other day, a week, I was determined to do at least three posts a day (I have no idea why). What this meant however was that I had no time for anything else. 

Eventually though I began to notice that my blogger-readers became fewer and fewer and their comments became lesser and lesser. For a while I paid it no mind, but after a while I took the time to a ask myself why. After some weeks of reflection it occured to me that I hadn't reciprocated the love so naturally they withdrew theirs. Totally understandable. 

So then I decided, Thelma, be more sociable. I then began to occasionally, when I could find the time, visit other personal/lifestyle blogs. I noticed that some were doing really well; I was very happy for them. I noticed that some of my loyal readers also read other blogs and even showed them more love, I was mad at them at first, notwithstanding the fact that I, or no one, has any monopoly over anyone on the blogosphere. Then I stopped being mad and rolled my eyes at myself and laughed it off. Then, I noticed that some of those blogs were doing much much way more far more better than mine, some which even began after mine! Yes, for the first time I felt blog envy. I remember stumbling on a blog that started several months after mine, the blogger once used to comment here and I had no idea she was a blogger until I saw hers, and I noticed that her posts average about 70 comments each. Now this went beyond envy, for a second I was actually bitter. Why? I asked myself; what is she doing that I'm not? I decided to go through her posts (noticed she actually took some ideas/topics from mine, but it's all good), I studied her writing style, her interaction with her readers etc, still I couldn't figure out why her traffic was a thousand times more than mine, or why she had so many comments...

The next time I visited her blog I noticed it had grown even more. This time however I actually giggled and felt genuinely happy for her. Maybe without even meaning to I learnt some things in the months between when I first stumbled upon her blog and then. 

I learnt, or rather reminded myself that the only person I'm in competition with is myself. 

I learnt that it's very easy to allow yourself be derailed by what you see, and you shouldn't. Think, most of us personal/lifestyle bloggers did not create our blogs to compete or even make money. For a lot of us it was supposed to be an outlet, our journal, a hobby, an experiment. Why then do we forget this and become so high strung, competitive, vicious and joyless? 

I learnt that most people wish you well, only until you begin to do better than them. Lesson: do not be one of such people.

And I realized that there's folly in refusing to see the sky as big enough.


But that's it for now with blogger envy.

The bigger issue really is comparisons. Do NOT do it, in a life filled with bitterness, struggles, disappointments, inadequacies and epileptic power supply, one ought to guard even the tiniest bit their joy as jealously as they possibly can. Already people will try to steal your joy, unfortunately some will succeed, why allow comparison take a piece of what's left?


...And yes, I have decided to put up less posts. Life just got busier!

Comments

  1. I cannot say this too strongly: never compare yourself to others. Personality begins where comparison leaves off. U cannot B unique and true 2 who u are whn comparisons lingers. If u wanna be original and happy, keep comparisons away!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Thelma this is spot on,am not a blogger though but in every aspect of life this is very important,sometimes I have to go off Facebook cos of comparison but its all good we all have our own races to run.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Personally, I HATE to compare myself to anyone & I run away from people around me who do. Sometimes though, I do it subconsciously but I regain my sanity almost immediately. I'm in a constant competition with myself on pleasing my God. EOD!!!
    As for blogs, My heart, body & soul is in this blog ALONE... Not because I love T (which I do), not because I've seen her before (which I haven't), Not because of her awesome posts & beautiful "commenters", but I only comment on this blog though I read so many others because, November 2013 when I was at my Lowest, thinking about running into moving cars on the highway, jumping into the deepest part of my school pool & letting go etc, Thelma came through! Her words was LIFE on the phone & in my mails, This Blog was the beginning of My healing process & since I'm Faithful to the core, I'm a TTB commenter for laive!
    1, 10 or 100 posts a day, I'm HERE as constant as the O in Air!!!

    There are others like me Nwando Oando, we luff U scarra!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ruth you would have died of bacterial infestation in that pool before even drowning.

      Delete
    2. Ruthy u said my mind, I once said I have never n don't read any other blog people think am trying to get attention, ever since my boss's sis told me about this blog,so in love with T, her words and every other thing,she did a particular post a long time ago that changed so many things about me, I love u T. AS FOR COMPARISON, I COMPARE MYSELF WITH PEOPLE ALOT ,I STILL DO IT SHAAA BUT I HOPE TO STOP BUT I CAN'T BECAUSE WHEN I SEE PEOPLE WHO ARE SAME AGE WITH ME ACHIEVING THINGS I AM STILL STRUGGLING WITH,IT MAKES ME DEPRESSED BUT I JUST CONSOLE MYSELF WITH THE FACT THAT WE CAN'T ALL RUN THE RACE AT D SAME TIME.

      Delete
  4. sometimes, I think of my mates (25year olds) already working and making money and I wonder why my life is like this. But then I think of the others whose lives isn't as awesome as mine and I thank God, I have everything I need (not want) but then my life is still a source of envy to some and for that I'm grateful

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dat last sentence made my heart skip a bit, life just got busier but pls dnt take it out on the blog bikooooo Thelma. Thnks 4all ur efforts and may God dem evn more.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This happens to me when I don't even know its happening,n with social media it doesn't even help,Thanks T for the Reminder,we need to remind ourselves everyday that we are the best of our kind n not compare cos we dnt knw the stories behind pictures or people we see

    ReplyDelete
  7. Everytime i find myself comparing my progress to that of my friends who finished earlier or started earlier, i remind myself of the yourba proverb that translates thus; anyone who uses his friend's timepiece to time his own race will run till he dies. I remember this and i thank God for where i am and how far i've come.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oro NLA sunshine, eniyan olee fi agoo ala ago o shishe.

      Delete
    2. Maybel, please don't tell me you are not a Yoruba......else, you have a duty to teach me your language.........Just Kidding

      -F

      Delete
    3. Lol NNE am not Yoruba ohhhh,I be confirm efik babe,from cross river state and mum is Igbo, so u see.lol

      Delete
  8. Am so grateful I came across your blog and this write up is the truth!

    This a reminder. Thanks thelms....

    ReplyDelete
  9. With all the drama going on in my life right now...this is just the right words I need.
    The instagram thing gets to me like always but I don't take any of it too seriously .
    Doing me and comparing me with nobody..
    I remember finishing secondary with few or no friends ....I was this naive girl with a very low self esteem
    I wasn't the top of the class (definitely) and sadly I wasn't average but Thank God I wasn't the least in education,beauty,to do well parents and all.
    I finished ..wanting to step up my game,so I clubbed,started wearing trousers,my mua journey was badass lol,trying to fit in and be better in my pre-degree program!
    end result...I failed and cried my eyes out..those that did worse got good grades.
    I tried jamb and failed...my Dad was just all out coming for me,I thought I was going to end up doing something stupid .
    God bless my mama for everything till date..
    I got my groove back on and MY SELF ESTEEM like it's the armor of God.
    I even stopped the trouser thing and no weaves or any attachments journey and it's been years...it's not because I want to be seen as holy cos I am not but I want to be confident being me.
    Comparing me with people cost me so much and not being able to stick to ARAMIDE cost me so much more.

    ReplyDelete
  10. There is really no point comparing urself with others. An adage says if u don't know what others do to succeed, u will run, run, till a lorry will jam u.

    I remember in d 90s, I had a friend dt all seems to be going well btw herself n her BF. Partying n other goodies. Naive me didn't know BF was a 'cocaine pusher. Imagine comparing myself to her. The marriage didn't last 5yrs. Built on something diff frm God and Agape love.

    This blog has been very inspiring. Using some things read here to minister to the young ones I come across.

    Doing a great job T



    Mama 'D'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *passing by* Mama 'D'... I sight you!

      Delete
  11. Thelma, you have been inspirational, and honestly, it's bcos of my big belle and wowo looks that I haven't dragged you out for lunch.

    I remember one night when I was really low and angry, you were the one I wanted to call, yes I do have others I would have called, but you were the one I wanted to talk to at about 3am,

    Very few people in life have that kind of effect on others. I consider my self to be a very strong woman, tough and deep, but that day I wanted a friend. (so you see, you are an inspiration)

    Never ever think you ain't making a difference. Sure, there are good days and bad days, but there is so much to be thankful for my dear.

    You are sooooo beautiful T, I saw you on saturday and I'm like, "this babe fine o"
    Do send me details of that hair cos I wanna rock it as soon as I download this baby.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thelma, you have been inspirational, and honestly, it's bcos of my big belle and wowo looks that I haven't dragged you out for lunch.

    I remember one night when I was really low and angry, you were the one I wanted to call, yes I do have others I would have called, but you were the one I wanted to talk to at about 3am,

    Very few people in life have that kind of effect on others. I consider my self to be a very strong woman, tough and deep, but that day I wanted a friend. (so you see, you are an inspiration)

    Never ever think you ain't making a difference. Sure, there are good days and bad days, but there is so much to be thankful for my dear.

    You are sooooo beautiful T, I saw you on saturday and I'm like, "this babe fine o"
    Do send me details of that hair cos I wanna rock it as soon as I download this baby.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clare Clare Clare! My heart is still aching that I didn't get a hug. When you guys drove off I wanted to run after you car and say WAIT, I WANT HUGSSSSSSS! LOL. Clare you are an amazing woman and at times when I question what I'm doing here I console myself with the knowledge that if I hadn't made this move I would probably never have met you ( and some others of course). Thank you.

      Delete
    2. Yea, dat's so true T. I've bin in a situation dat I needed badly to talk to someone, and twz u dat I wanted to call despite d fact dat we dnt know eachoda personally. I so love u T. Currently blind from excess skl stress, ll be bak after my exams.

      Delete
  13. I just watched "The fault in our stars". Never compare urself with no one. Not even for a second and while ur praying and wishing for "happily ever after",appreciate,accept and cherish some short term happiness too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you cry?! Cuz mehn! You'll think someone flogged me after I finished watching that movie. Very very sad movie but lots of lessons learnt.

      Delete
    2. Cried so hard that my bro got worried. Just watched it again and still the same effect.
      Yh,one lesson I strongly believe in which they repeated was: enjoy ur little infinity...

      Delete
  14. Bottom line, just be truthful to yourself. If you don't acknowledge/accept your imperfections... You will find it hard to move forward without frustrations. I was a victim but thank God I grew up quickly.

    YOU MUST 'GROW UP' QUICKLY FROM IT.

    Maybel, please stop that comparison cos nobody you compare urself with don't even think of you even in their spare time(hard truth). Move on my dear, no time to even check time sef.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous Rider!1:44 am, March 02, 2015

    Learn to sieve what you feed into your system...I am not even on Instagram. BIBLE says they that compare themselves among themselves are not wise. 2ndCorin10:12

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hiya mami, You know to be honest, I don't get it. I can not relate to the blog envy thingy you talked bout....I actually just heard bout it last week.....Now here is how I see it...I strongly believe in reciprocity....As a blogger, if I get on your blog 3 times and I don't get a return visit, I don't bother getting on your blog again....I don't think it is right to compare your blog to others too cuz in my opinion, you have no idea how much time and effort those bloggers put into their blogs....personal/reality blogging is basically you having a personal space on the internet...why compare how small your space is to another??...Like I said I don't get it!...I think all the energy spent on comparing and wishing to have a blog like another can be spent on actually building your blog. I don't think I will ever understand why a photo on instagram can have so much power that I will find myself wondering bout my life....**shakes head** Naa...I can't relate....

    Anyhoo...2nd time here...Nice blog btw...

    ReplyDelete
  17. Comparison and envy hardly does anyone any good.
    Just maybe it's not bad, if it's that kinda 'good comparison' that spurs one to setting goals and working at them...because then they realise they've been slacking in actions.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Im here aways Thelma just that I don't leave comments like before. Plenty love for u

    ReplyDelete
  19. I cannot comment anymore with my phone, who has same problem and how did you rectify it? I don't compare my life with that of others sha we are all on a different journey. J

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had the same problem, I cleared the cookies on my browser and I was able to comment

      Delete
  20. It something that I believe happens to everyone at one point or the other...the feeling of why are things not working for me but working for others...hmmmm....it happens to me a lot but i thank God for the grace to always bounce back in thanksgiving to God cos my own story no be here.....#JoyDaNuGirl

    ReplyDelete
  21. Unfortunately, comparison forms that lil" reflex part of our minds...not knowing that it destroys oneself n leads to low self-esteem when applied negatively. We're all running a different race in life.
    There's this quote that keeps me going each day: "No matter where you find urself, always remember that your present condition is someone's prayer request"..Always be Thankful to God. T we love u Oooh!..don't be too scarce. Much luv.

    ReplyDelete
  22. You're amazing just the way you are. There's always room for improvement but I'm addicted any which ways. :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Toothbrush head design is very important. Find one that works for you. You want to have the bristles angled towards the gumline and the bristles should gently contact the gumline.

    Dry Skin

    ReplyDelete

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