Let’s paint a picture, shall we. You know those super cute wrap dresses that are all the rage right now? Basically a bath towel with a string in the midsection that’s supposed to stay nice and tight and keep you covered. I think they are really adorable, and I have always been a huge fan of dresses anyway- no pants needed and it’s just one thing to pull out of the closet. So I bought one (okay six) and I love them! Comfortable, not restricting and, like mentioned, no pants needed. Well it looks great from the outside. This super cute dress with a cinched in waist, falls a few inches above the knee and has just the perfect V-neck. To the outside world, I got it going on!
But realistically- this dress comes untied eighty-two times a day. One swift wind picks my dress right up and I am not very covered at all then. When I sit down the two pieces of fabric that aid in the “wrapping” are never together. One has fallen on my desk chair while the other is creeping up my leg and I am left constantly moving this damn dress so I don’t get written up for a dress code violation at work. I can see it now “Came to work in hooker apparel”. Let’s not.
But I do LOVE this dress- it’s cute and comfortable and easy and it looks good! This all got me thinking about society and what we think we know about other people. No one knows I am constantly correcting this dress- they just keep complimenting me on it! Just as no one knows last week was incredibly rough for me, or how I struggle to get out of bed sometimes. All they see is what I let them see- this 24 year old in a wrap dress and cute shoes always super (moderately) positive.
A lot of times we assume we know the lives of others. We paint this picture in our head “nice clothes, nice car, always looks put together, lives in an expensive part of the city…” and we just assume things about them. I’m guilty of this. I assume that those people who live in the nice gated communities with the Infinity SUV or the Lexus convertible are super financially stable and “have their shit together”. But little do we know they are swimming in debt, or their parents bought that Lexus and its 6 years old. We don’t know that they worked so incredibly hard and they have also had their years of eating boxed macaroni every day. We don’t put things into context- we just assume.
This assumption leads us to comparison. We begin to question why our peers have nicer things than us, or go on vacation when we can barely afford a pedicure. But that’s just the same. You don’t know their finances, their secrets, the ins and outs of their lives. You only know what people let you see- and usually that’s all fluff anyway! No one is ever going to tell you that they have to debate between groceries and gas, but the Coach purse was a gift from their grandma for graduating college. Spshhh- they are going to tote that beautiful purse like the awesome gift that it is because that’s what makes them happy!
Now, I don’t have a Coach purse, a Lexus or Infinity, I sure as shit do not live in a gated community. My purse is from Kohls, I drive a Toyota and I live in a room of fairy lights. It hasn’t been but in the last year when I have had full control of my finances that I began to buy “nice” things. A skin care line from Clinique, too many Ulta points, a gel lamp and polish from Amazon that saves me money on manicures and one Kate Spade wallet (bought at Nordstrom Rack). Those are my “nice” things. But let me write a blog post or take an Instagram photo of my wallet, my Clinique filled counter top and see me at work with perfect nails at all times- you will assume things as well.
We are all living our life like a wrap dress in the wind… super great on the outside but low key, we know at any moment we could shock the world. So don’t compare yourself to others based on what you see on Instagram or Facebook, or by what their clothes say. Regardless of if they look poor, or rich, look like they have their shit together or not. It’s exhausting to compare and it really does no good.
Instead, focus on yourself. If you see someone went on Vacation and you want to go don’t envy them, think about saving or planning a trip. Ask them where they went and what they loved about it instead of talking to others about how you never get to go anywhere. Use these moments when you could compare yourself to instead grow yourself.