Some of us grew up being compared to other people or being told that we have to be better than “Little Jimmy”. Now, who is “Little Jimmy”?
Little Jimmy is that one kid in class- who you told your parents, always got straight As.
Little Jimmy is that one student in the class that the teacher picked as the model student.
Little Jimmy is that one student in class who got his picture on the wall because he’s done so well and is at the top of the class.
Little Jimmy is our envy.
He’s that thorn in our side.
He’s that kid that we’re told we should strive to do better than.
And it’s this competitive mindset that begins to fuck some of us up.
Some of us grow up seeing life as a competition.
Now, I’m not saying competition is bad, I’m just getting at the point that sometimes there are people who feel less than worthy enough to compete.
We feel as though no matter what we do, we’ll never be good enough. But why? Why do we have to feel this way?
For me, it comes down to comparisons.
All my life- for as long as I can remember, I’ve been comparing myself to others. It started innocent- you know, getting competitive over who had the highest grades and what I could do to get on top. But at some point, I stopped competing. I no longer cared because puberty hit and the one competition I found myself in, I soon realized I could never win.
There I was, checking out of the looks department with nothing more than a bog of senseless hope. An investment that seemingly was not in my favor.
There I was, watching all these other girls walk out with endless valuables; looks that could kill, smiles that dazzled and bodies that I could never have.
I was devastated as I looked in the mirror. I had a plain face, nothing special and nothing that would necessarily grab attention. My smile- oh, how I hated the living hell out of my smile. I envied girls with perfect teeth and even more with perfect smiles because here I was- a growing pubescent child with a hallway between my teeth. I hated it and avoided showing my teeth in pictures as much as possible.
It came to a point where I was deathly afraid of meeting new people because I was afraid of being judged. I was afraid they’d see me how I saw myself; an unattractive girl who has no chance. It wasn’t just my smile that I hated, though. I hated myself as a whole. I couldn’t stand the person I was because I wasn’t like everyone else. I was always too shy, too weird, too awkward…
Looking back now, it’s silly to think about; how desperately I wanted to fit in. How much I wanted to be accepted for who I was not. And even when I tried to alter my appearance- make myself look like I’m worth a damn, I seemed to be trying too hard. I was forcing myself to be that girl and I wasn’t. I was never that girl- whoever she was and I could never be her. I could never force myself into a box like that. Force myself to have this one specific image and stick to it. That’s not who I was.
I let my jealousy and envy get the best of me-I still do, sometimes to this day but I’ve come to terms with myself. I accepted the fact that I’m not perfect and never could be. I accept the fact that looks aren’t important-well, at least not the most important because let’s be honest, we’re all shallow creatures and looks do matter. I’m not the most confident person and it never came easy to me but I’ll look in the mirror once in a while and smile at myself and think “damn girl, you look good”. And maybe it’s that false sense of confidence that has gotten me this far. But it is curious how we torture ourselves with such negative thoughts. How we let them ruin something that could be amazing.